Steven Kirby

Steven Kirby
skirby@berklee.edu
Music
Dip.M., Berklee College of Music; M.M., University of Massachusetts (Amherst)

Steven Kirby

Music Instructor, Jazz Guitar

Guitarist, composer, educator, Mr. Kirby is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has a Masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from University of Massachusetts (Amherst). As well as his work as string faculty at Wellesley College, he is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and teaches for Berklee online.


Guitarist, composer, educator Steven Kirby (“a guitarist of rippling technique and a poetic mind”- Downbeat Magazine) is known for performing exciting, melodic, expressive jazz as well being fluent in other contemporary styles including Rock, Brazilian, Blues as well as various classical genres. He has appeared on multiple recordings including three as a leader “Point Of Balance” and “North Light” (Challenge Records)—and “Illuminations” (WCS records). “Illuminations” was Downbeat Magazine’s “Editors Pick” and was included on the Grammy Nominations long list in 4 categories. He has performed and/or recorded with many of today’s most respected contemporary musicians including Chris Potter, Mike Manieri (Steps Ahead), Joe Lovano, Harvie S, Allan Holdsworth and others.  He has toured in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Europe, China and Africa.

Kirby’s music has been played on over 100 radio stations in the US and internationally including nationally syndicated shows like NPR’s “Here and Now” and “Jazz with Bob Parlocha”.

His jazz compositions have won awards in the International Songwriting Competition, the Billboard Song Contest and Downbeat Magazine.

Kirby has published multiple articles in a variety of periodicals including Guitar Player Magazine, Jazz Improv Magazine. He has just completed an instructional book for Berklee Press entitled Jazz Guitar Strategies which is due to be published and distributed in early 2020 by Hal Leonard Publishing.  

Kirby is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and holds a Masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from University of Massachusetts (Amherst). He is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, teaches for Berklee Online and is a Visiting Professor at Wellesley College.

Selected Reviews:

“Kirby’s music manifests the truth that jazz is an art built on growth and renewal…this is an extraordinarily pleasing and diverse album” (All About Jazz).

“Steven Kirby, a guitarist of rippling technique and a poetic mind, has developed a modern jazz guitar style that bridges the angular lyricism of Pat Metheny and the painterly asceticism of Jim Hall”. (Downbeat Magazine)

“ Meticulously played, elegantly produced ….Kirby has a serious command of the guitar” (New England Performer)

"...deep beauty and spare, folkloric elegance while also an album that doesn't lose sight of Kirby's jazz roots and a penchant for more incendiary playing. Texturally he expands his palette with a larger group who collectively lift these deep yet eminently accessible compositions off the page to leap out of the speakers….Illuminations is Kirby's biggest leap forward yet as a writer but, equally, as a guitarist who leans towards inimitable lyricism yet also possesses the chops to burn brightly as the music demands it

John Kelman (Music Journalist and noted author of multiple ECM records liner notes)