Hello, I'm Steve

Jazz/Pop Songwriter & recent NYC-LA transplant

Previously active in New York City as a songwriter and singer/pianist, I moved to Los Angeles in 2021. My music aims to mix pop, jazz, and R&B genres with meaningful lyrics and a soulful delivery. My major musical influences include Donald Fagen, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dorough, and Kurt Weill.

My first album, "21st Century Blues" was nominated for a MAC Award* as "Best Recording" in 2014.  In TalkinBroadway.com, reviewer Rob Lester described it as "Well worth the listen…wry observational humor and the low-key approach remind me of jazz wit stalwart Mose Allison in writing and singing…but seriousness is only inches below the surface, making this CD deepen with repeated listening…a feel-good experience with some gratifying grit."

In New York, I've performed at venues such as The Iridium, The Metropolitan Room, Pangea, Urban Stages, Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, and The Bitter End;  St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery (concerts and choir) and Theatre 80 St. Marks; and as part of New York Songwriters Alliance showcases. In 2020, I was asked to produce "My Side of Town: The Music of Steve Sieck” for Urban Stages' "Winter Rhythms" festival.  

In 2023, I performed my first show in my new hometown, "Good Evening, LA," to a capacity house at the Gardenia in Hollywood.  And I'm aiming for a new album launch - and launch-party show - sometime in mid-2024.

My songs have been described by nightlife reviewer Alix Cohen (WomanAroundTown.com) as “smart, deft, and truthful."  A BroadwayWorld.com reviewer commented, "His songs are catchy, easy to listen to, and reminiscent of the jazzy standards written in the '40s and '50s.”  And, ahem, New York Times chief classical music critic Anthony Tomassini praised my 2009 performance as Harry Druggist in Marc Blitzstein’s 1930s agit-prop musical "The Cradle Will Rock." 

I'm super-excited about the large set of new original songs I'm recording with producer/arranger Dori Amarilio and an elite cast of "LA cats" and jazz and gospel vocalists. Please watch for the release in mid-'24.

 

*A juried award given by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs  

Keep up with announcements!

Process, developments, launch schedule, performances, commentary

Steven Sieck, Accordant Music (ASCAP) steve.sieck@gmail.com (646) 246-0379

"21st Century Blues"

21st Century Blues

Steve Sieck

Nominated for MAC Award (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for Best Recording, 2013
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Videos

"Good Evening, LA"

Gardenia Lounge, Hollywood, February 15, 2024

My first show after moving to LA, and also my first since the arrival of Covid.  It included a mix of songs previously recorded in New York with several songs written in my new hometown.  The band: Musical director and guitarist: Dori Amarilio; Ed Czach, piano; Rene Camacho, bass; and Aaron Serfaty, drums.  Guest Vocalists:  Liz Cole, Tanya Holt, and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim.  The reception by the capacity audience was gratifying, and the band and guest vocalists rocked!

"21st Century Blues"

The Metropolitan Room, NYC, November 20, 2013

Clips from the launch party for my first album, "21st Century Blues." The band: Rick Jensen, musical director and keyboards; Steve Bargonetti, guitar; Jack Bashkow, winds; Tom Hubbard, bass; and Dan Gross, drums.  Guest vocalists: Tanya Holt and Doug Sheppard.

Gallery

“Good Evening, LA” at the Gardenia

Recording the New Album

Sheet Music

Amelie
  • Amelie

Amelie

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$25.00

A bossa nova telling of love and love lost. Detailed 3-page chart. Includes transposition to the preferred key.

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Back Home
  • Back Home

Back Home

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$25.00

A love song by a traveler. Works equally well as a ballad or a bossa. Detailed 3-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Crosses on the Roadside
  • Crosses on the Roadside

Crosses on the Roadside

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$25.00

A cinematic ballad contemplating mortality. Detailed 3-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Complaint Letters to God
  • Complaint Letters to God

Complaint Letters to God

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$25.00

A gospel song addressed to a sometimes problematic deity. Detailed 3-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Better Late Than Never
  • Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

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$25.00

A song about the value of experience and optimism for the future. R&B ballad. Detailed 2-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Is It Really Love at All?
  • Is It Really Love at All?

Is It Really Love at All?

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$25.00

Uptempo R&B ballad about romantic indecision. Detailed 3-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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My Side of Town
  • My Side of Town

My Side of Town

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$25.00

Swing tune inviting a partner to live on the wild side. Detailed 2-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Not That There's Anything Wrong With That
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

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A humorous swing tune (reminiscent of Mose Allison). An audience favorite. Detailed 2-page chart. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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21st Century Blues
  • 21st Century Blues

21st Century Blues

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$20.00

A social anthem blues shuffle touching on economic, geopolitical, and ecological themes. Two-page chord chart and arrangement. Includes transposition to the desired key.

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Blog

Becoming a Songwriter 

I’ve been a musician of one kind or another since age 8, as a clarinetist, keyboardist and lead singer in a cover band, and intermittent classical piano student, all before high school. Like so many of my generation, the singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s were a major focus of my world.  I wrote and recorded some terrible songs while at college in Iowa (“Flowers of Evil,” the product of a brief Baudelaire infatuation, comes to mind). Shortly after arriving in NYC at age 21, and taking courses in harmony, counterpoint, and composition, I joined a songwriting workshop, which generated some fun but forgettable numbers like “Kundalini Love” and co-writes like “You Make it So Hard” (alas, double-entendre very much intended). Then a business career re-channeled a lot of my creative energies.

A turning point came in the early ‘aughts’ at a vocal workshop in upstate New York. The leader, Claude Stein, asked me how long it had been since I’d written a song, and I answered, “about 25 years.”  He urged me to “write a song tonight…call it…’Better Late Than Never.’”  I did, and it turned out to be very meaningful to my fellow workshop participants, all of a certain age and looking for next chapters. That experience convinced me I had (per the lyrics of that song) “a gift that’s meant to give today.”  

Continuing to write (including at other workshops in Costa Rica and Umbria) led to a resumption of live performances, especially at the encouragement of Jeannine Otis, the revered  musical director of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery.  And “Better Late Than Never” became the title song of my first real cabaret show in New York and the concluding song of the album “21st Century Blues” that followed - produced, arranged, and musical directed by the dear departed Rick Jensen. I continued building a catalog, and sharing it during the pandemic via posted videos, live Zoom performances, and a recorded evening dedicated to my music at Urban Stages’ “Winter Rhythms” festival. 

With my move to Los Angeles in 2021, I’ve been fortunate to join a supportive community of singers and musicians - and especially the opportunity to work with sought-after producer-arranger- guitarist Dori Amarilio on this album. My songwriting has continued to benefit from the guidance and feedback of Dori, Mark Winkler, Cathy Segal-Garcia, regular online meetings with my colleagues in Tom Toce’s New York Songwriters Alliance, and long-time New York mentor Tony Conniff.  And I’ve been truly blessed by unwavering support of my life partner Frances Myers Newman..

That’s, in brief, the story up to now.  I’ll probably expand on some of this history in future posts, and – I hope – narrate my progress in creating ever-more-ambitious and well-crafted tunes.  Thanks for reading, and, of course, for your comments!

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