Steve Peplin
Gig Seeker Pro

Steve Peplin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Tonite on Local/Live: The Steve Peplin Trio"

Hear the name ‘Steve Peplin’ in Milwaukee, and it’s sure to be met with recognition — Peplin has not only been playing for years in Milwaukee’s clubs, but has been an integral part of the jazz music curriculum at both Lawrence University in Appleton and Milwaukee Area Technical College. His fresh style regarding classic jazz compositions has been met with enthusiasm and Peplin’s energetic collaborations in both his trio and duo with Neil Davis are some of the best in Milwaukee’s live jazz scene. Catch Peplin and Davis at Frank’s Power Plant for their ‘Live Jazz Fridays’ series this Friday, June 24th at 6 p.m. Also take up the chance to catch The Steve Peplin Trio live on WMSE tonight for Local/Live at 8 p.m. CST. Stream online at or at 91.7 FM. Missed out? Catch the performance in the WMSE archives.

- Tonight on Local/Live

""Jazz Guitarist Steve Peplin Has Got the Beat, Literally..""

Jazz Guitarist Steve Peplin Has Got the Beat - Literally

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Local jazz musicians are not typically well paid, so you can't blame them for looking at new ways to cut costs while still providing their audiences a smokin' performance. For example, what if the guitarist were to play drums while improvising his solos? Sound crazy? Maybe so, but that's just about what Milwaukee-based jazz guitarist Steve Peplin has done.

Jazz guitar tabs, video lessons, and play-along tracks

In the video below, which was shot during a radio interview for WUWM, Peplin performs with guitarist Neil Davis, who is the other half of the Peplin/Davis Duo. What is sure to induce repeated viewings, though, is that while Peplin comps and solos, he also keeps the beat with a hi-hat cymbal, augmenting his self-contained rhythm section with ride and crash cymbals rigged to be played with foot pedals as well.

In the interview portion of the video, Peplin explains how he came up with the concept. "When you're playing in a duo, there really isn't anything that percussive," he says. "The hi-hat is like the heartbeat of the drumset, and the ride cymbal is like the canvas for the drummer to orchestrate patterns, so you don't even really need the snare and the bass drum to have the basic, elemental feel of jazz."

In full disclosure, I've known Steve for over 20 years, and he's one of the most amazing musicians and people I've had the privilege of knowing, and so with that knowledge, this doesn't really surprise me. That said, I still have to pick my jaw up from the floor after watching it. Be sure to watch through the end, as the outro performance, a composition by Davis called "Lollygag," is simply stunning.

For more on the Peplin/Davis Duo, visit their MySpace page. To purchase Peplin's new album, Infinite Stairways, which features a solo guitar version of John Coltrane's "Countdown" replete with hi-hat accompaniment, visit the iTunes Store or

- Guitar Instructor

"On Milwaukee Album Commentary"

Music - May 8, 2010
"Infinite Stairways" is jazz guitarist Peplin's debut as sole leader
Despite his many years on the scene, jazz guitarist and composer Steve Peplin's fine new disc, "Infinite Stairways" -- sheathed in an eye-catching 3-D sleeve -- is his debut as sole leader of a session. "Infinite Stairways" is a fine set of straight-ahead post-bop jazz that Peplin describes as "a conservative Blue Note-style jazz record."
Tags: Steve Peplin, Jack Grassel, Kirk Tatnall, Jamie Breiwick, jazz, Davis/Peplin Duo, Infinite Stairways

"89.7 WUWM: Lake Effect"




Still working on that hot first release.



Steve Peplin Biography

‘Music is a powerful force to me. It can reach where language cannot.
I’ve spent a lot of hours insuring that my music is sincere and effective.’

Steve Peplin was born in Long Beach California and grew up on the North side of Milwaukee, Wi. where he played drums and trumpet before settling into guitar as his primary axe. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with a bachelors degree in composition. (1994-1996) and has since been a professor of guitar and composition at Milwaukee Technical College and professor of guitar at the Downbeat award winning Lawrence University.

‘I went to Berklee really just to go to Boston and play in a band out there. I originally wanted to study Jazz Guitar there, but I was already playing jazz so I delved into the deeper waters of orchestral composition. Strangely, this affected my guitar playing and improvisation much more profoundly than studying the guitar itself. Beethoven called the guitar ‘the Little Orchestra.’
Steve performs with numerous groups and has shared the stage with notable names such as Art Davis (Coltrane Bassist), Melvin Rhyne (Wes Montgomery’s organist), Doc Severensen, Brian Lynch (Jazz Messengers trumpeter), Dan Nimmer (Wynton Marsalis pianist), George Braith, Howard Levy (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, De La Buena and several others.
Steve is curently a member of several groups in several genres including Choir Fight, Evocation Trio, Invocation Trio, Davis/Peplin Duo, Como No, Stellar Regions and others.
Peplin has written numerous articles for various publications including Guitar One magazine and has transcribed numerous books for Hal Leonard Corp. Peplin recently founded Death Bop Records which will unveil a catalogue of ten records from jazz, metal, blues, afro-cuban and other genres in Fall of 2011. Recently Steve has been endorsed by ESP LTD Guitars.

“I’ve waited to ‘really do something’ until this point in my life. I’m excited to take it up a level and tour more now.”
Peplin has invented a mechanism for playing drums (hi-hat, ride, crash, floor kick) and guitar at once. ‘This invention came to fruition through my teaching where I would demonstrate how the basic mechanics of jazz all fit together. I practiced grooving while students would jam over the foundation I was laying down. It was a natural thing to take it to clubs and I’ve had at least two gigs a week doing this for the last two years. I’m ready for some deeper waters now.’