Guitarist and vocalist Steve Oliver is a California native and a true follower of the laid-back lifestyle. Playing sideman to Rick Braun, Larry Carlton, Gato Barbieri, the Neville Brothers, and many others introduced him to smooth jazz fans, but it was with Steve Reid’s band that Oliver found a following. It was 1996 when Reid contacted Oliver at the last minute to fill in for a canceled opening act. Oliver hit the stage as a solo act and Reid was impressed with the guitarist’s vocalese skills and summery sound. Oliver had come to vocalese through Bobby McFerrin and Pat Metheny’s work with Richard Bona and David Blamires, who sang along with guitar solos. Reid hired Oliver after the gig and featured him in his touring band. Oliver meanwhile tours regularly on his own and has scored multiple hit singles on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart. Though best known for his work in the field of Smooth Jazz, he performs in a wide variety of styles including Pop, Rock, Latin, Electronic, and World Music.

* Vocalese is a style of jazz singing in which the singer simulates the play of instruments such as a saxophone. Whereas scat singing uses improvised syllables, vocalese uses written (often parodic, sometimes improvised) lyrics.

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