Hi, I'm [artist]Steven Cravis[/artist]
Please look for my CD [album artist="Steven Cravis"]The Sound of Light[/album] on Pandora!
As a child, I couldn't stay away from the piano where I figured out tunes and songs. At age seven, after playing piano completely by ear for a year, I asked my parents for piano lessons. Yes - I asked them! They found me a wonderful classical piano teacher named Julie Collins.
At my first recital - after only three months of lessons and despite being the youngest student, I was honored as the student deemed to have made the most progress that year. To the surprise of my parents, when it was time for the name of the honoree to be announced, I walked up to the piano and with my teacher performed "Coming Round the Mountain"
I learned the basics of classical piano for four years and unbeknownst to my teacher managed to play more by ear and memory than by reading music. I accomplished this by listening to my teacher play each piece for me and memorizing it as soon as possible. During those beginning years I dreamed of being able to play anything I could imagine and then play.
All that Jazz
At home, my father always played jazz records. I enjoyed the sounds of jazz, including the swinging rhythms, bass lines and improvisations. After requesting a jazz improvisational piece at the age of 11, my piano teacher saw clearly that I could benefit from and relate to jazz-specific lessons and I switched to a jazz teacher named Robert Lague. Over the next several years I learned basics of music theory, especially how they applied to jazz, and developed a very skilled ear for improvisation. I took lessons from several jazz teachers (including Ran Blake, Peter Cassino, Sandi Peaslee and Jeff Leonard) over a span of about six years to get different perspectives on jazz theory, styles, and improvisation techniques
One of my favorite pianist was Windham Hill artist George Winston. I learned how to play several of his p