Steve Hobbs

Steve Hobbs's Biography

Steve Hobbs, the son of professional dancers, began playing hand drums and percussion at age 7. He began formal instruction on trumpet and percussion at age 11 and was playing in dance bands by age 15. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1978, touring with top pop groups, including Janice, who had a #8 hit on Casey Kasem Top 100 and appearances on American Bandstand with Dick Clark and The Redd Foxx Show. Two years later, Hobbs left the road to attend University of Miami as a jazz mallet major. He graduated with a Master of Music in 1982. In 1982 and 1983, Hobbs began doctoral work at University of Northern Colorado, dropping out his third semester in order to tour with jazz accordion legend Art Van Damme and many others starting in 1983. Steve played off and on with Art till his death in 2010. Since 1983, Hobbs has toured as leader or sideman with Jumpin' Johnny, The Upsetters, Tom Harrell, Jim Crawford, Teresa Carroll, Randy Johnston, Art Van Damme, Lenore Raphael and more.

He has headlined major jazz festivals, including Houston International Jazz Fest, Texas International Jazz Fest, Laramie Celebrates Jazz, Artsplosure (Raleigh), City Stages (Birmingham), Candid Records Jazz Fest (London), Telluride Jazz Fest, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Jazz in July (Breckenridge), World's Greatest Jazz Fest (Atlanta), Jazz Charlotte and Denver Jazz Fest. He regularly plays major jazz clubs in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Hobbs has seven Top Ten jazz releases as leader, most notably Vibes Straight Up that was #1 for seven consecutive weeks on JazzWeek in March 2010 and Tribute to Bobby that was #1 for two weeks on JazzWeek in February 2018.

Hobbs has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten vibraphonists in the world by the DownBeat Readers and Critics polls since 1993. He has been a Yamaha Performing Artist /Clinician since 1991.

In addition to being a leader, Hobbs is a sought after sideman with international releases with North American Jazz Alliance (2013), Sam Hunter (2014) and Kenny Barron (2016). In Early 2019, Hobbs was recorded with The Johnny Dodge Band, produced by Mike Dean of Corrosion of Conformity and filmed with the Lenore Raphael Trio. Hobbs also tours with Lenore Raphael. In 2009, he was featured on a jazz compilation CD, Cool Jazz Essentials, along with jazz greats John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughn, Chet Baker and more. In 2014, he was featured on another jazz compilation CD, The Jazz Bar/Blues and Ballads, where he was featured with such artists as Frank Sinatra and Dexter Gordon. He has appeared on shows for Time Warner Jazz, Sirius Jazz, Bob Parlocha, Dave Sanborn, BBC and many more in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. He has been frequently featured in international magazines and newspapers including, DownBeat, JAZZIZ, JazzTimes, Cadence, The London Observer, The New York Times and more.

In the Raleigh area, Hobbs works as a leader with his group, The Steve Hobbs Quartet. He also performs regularly as a sideman with leaders Ben Palmer, Todd Proctor, Sam Hunter, Lenore Raphael (both in Raleigh and nationally), Juan Alamo, David Van Geason, Isiah Simpson and more.

Steve Hobbs's Gear
Steve Hobbs

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