Before arriving in Winnipeg from New York in 2003, jazz bassist Steve Kirby had established an enviable career performing, recording, and touring with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Abbey Lincoln, Steve Turre, James Carter, Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, Lester Bowie, John Hicks, and many others.
Now a fixture in Winnipeg’s cultural scene, Kirby continues to perform, compose, and record; his newest CD, Stepchild (2012), features the incredible fire power of the U of M Jazz Faculty,
Kirby’s newest projects including composing for his third stream ensemble The Oceanic Jazz Orchestra for The Longitude Project and collaborating with long time friend and fellow U of M Jazz Faculty member Derrick Gardner on establishing a Winnipeg new community Big Band called The Big dig! Band.
In addition to his responsibilities as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Manitoba, Professor Kirby is also director of the U of M Summer Jazz Camp, artistic director of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances, creator and editor of dig! magazine, Winnipeg’s bi-monthly jazz publication, creator and director of Jazz on Wheels (a mobile, inner city jazz education performance program) and The Bridge Program: Music Learning for Life.
Kirby’s gifts as a performer, clinician, and speaker have inspired audiences in concert halls, clubs, inner city street festivals, community centres, high school gyms, and university classrooms around the North America and beyond. He shares not just his deep passion for jazz, but the tenets of tolerance, self-expression, and community-building that are at its core.