Steve Whipple

Steve Whipple

 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Steve Whipple is a versatile yet original acoustic/electric bassist, composer, and arranger. As a bassist, his focus is on jazz and improvised music, but also plays rock, funk, and in jam bands. As a composer/arranger, he writes for jazz groups, chamber ensembles, and does music for live theater.


Steve was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1981. At the age of 3, he began to study the piano with his grandmother. He started to get interested in jazz when he began to play the trumpet in elementary school. He had a small jazz band he played with through middle school, and when the bass player of that band left the country at the beginning of high school, Steve borrowed his uncle's bass and taught himself how to play. By the end of his sophomore year, he had developed significantly as a bass player and musician, winning the Louis Armstrong jazz award that year.

In the middle of his junior year, he transferred to Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan. There, he was a music composition major, studying with Dr. Elaine Broad and Michael Albaugh. His experience at Interlochen was a life changing one, confirming his ambition to have a career in music.

During his time at Interlochen, Steve was awarded an Honorable Mention by the ARTS competition for his piece "Searching and Finding." He had several premiers, including "Sand Castle" (1999) and "Snow" (1999). He also wrote and conducted music for a live theatrical performance of Chiyori Miyagawa's "Yesterday's Window."

Steve attended the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music ('00-'05). He started as a music education major, but changed majors during his junior year to jazz bass. He graduated from CCM with a degree in Jazz Performance as salutatorian of his class, with distinguished honors in June of '05, and is currently working on a masters degree from the same school.

In school, Steve has performed with many notable guests, including Kenny Garrett, Joshua Redman, Tim Reis, Eddie Daniels, Ira Sullivan, Kenny Wheeler, Jiggs Whigham, Bill Charlap, Fred Hersch, Mulgrew Miller, Dana Hall, and Nasheet Waits.

During his time in Cincinnati, Steve has become a regular performer in the local jazz scene. At the beginning of his junior year, he was hired by professor Phil DeGreg of CCM as a regular member of his trio. Since then, he has played with almost all of the jazz musicians in the city, and can be heard on a regular basis in various venues. He also appears somewhat regularly in Dayton and Columbus. Please check calendar for an update on where he will be playing.


Check out the Audio Files above to hear an example of Steve's music. The first track is a standard performed by the Dan Karlsberg Trio, the second track is an original, and the last one is a trio rendition of a John Cotrane piece without a title.

Set List

Sets vary in length and content depending upon the venue. Here are some examples of different possible types of sets (the lengths and contents of sets are negotiable):

A traditional jazz set is typically 45-60 minutes long with a 15-30 minute break between sets, and consists of jazz standards. Special requests for specific songs will be honored if requests are made in advance. (typically for traditional jazz club dates, parties or weddings)

A set of more cutting edge music is typically 45-75 minutes with a 15-30 minute set break, and consists of original music, original interpretations of jazz standards and classical music, and freely improvised music. (typically for concerts, art shows and galleries, and less traditional jazz venues)

A set of all original music is also possible, but would require negotiations about venue, number of musicians, and length of performance.

I am also interested in colaborations with other musicians and artists (play writes, dancers, choreog