Saxophonist, Steve Duke, is widely known for his ability to transition effortlessly from jazz to classical to new music. He is especially recognized for his contemporary improvisations. Allan Kozinn of the New York Times wrote, “Stephen Duke played the music with a gorgeous tone and moved easily between, say, the Coltranesque leaps and the supple fluidity of the Hodges pastiche.”
Steve Duke has worked with notable jazz artists including Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Victor Lewis, Charles McPherson, Frank Wess, Roland Hanna, Grady Tate, Ed Soph, Zoot Sims, Louis Bellison and others. In the classical world, he has performed with American Ballet Theater, the Bolshoi Ballet and with numerous symphony orchestras.
In 1994 Sony/Columbia released his first solo album “Monk by 2” with pianist Joe Pinzarrone on the music of Thelonious Monk. Other solo recordings can be heard on Centaur, Equilibrium, Capstone, EMF and SEAMUS.
He has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous solo works and is the only American performer to have premiered two works (BluesAx by Larry Austin and Veiled Resonance by Elainie Lillios) that have received top awards from the prestigious Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges.
Steve Duke is a Distinguished Research Professor of Music, Emeritus at Northern Illinois University and teaches saxophone and the Feldenkrais Method® in Chicago. Steve Duke is a Yamaha Performing Artist