Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Rudolph, Steve (Steven Ray)
Rudolph, Steve (Steven Ray), pianist, arranger, composer; b. Evansville, IN, 10 April 1949. He grew up around Boonville, IN. His mother was Dorothy Jean Rudolph (b. 1929, Chandler, IN, d. 1971). His father was Glen Charles Higginson (b. 1928 d. 1996, Boonville, IN). His stepfather is L. Joseph Rudolph (b. 1921). His brothers are Glenn Keith Rudolph (b. 1948, Keith Rudolph, Boonville IN), the band director at Penn High School, Mishawaka, IN, and Lawrence J. Rudolph (b. 1954, Larry Rudolph, Boonville, IN), a farmer in Mishawaka, IN. Steve is married to Andrea Minick Rudolph (b. 1953).
Rudolph studied trumpet with Delbert Dale, Butler University (1967-'69), conducting with Dr. John Colbert, Butler University (1967-'69) and arranging with Carroll DeCamp (1970-'73). The rich jazz tradition in Indianapolis fed his interest and at age 22, he changed his main instrumental focus from the trumpet to the piano. In 1977 Buddy Morrow hired him to tour with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra where he backed up such notables as Helen O'Connell and the Mills Brothers. Steve moved to Harrisburg, PA in 1978 and has been largely responsible for the growth and development of the thriving jazz scene in Central Pennsylvania. Steve is Past President and a founder of the Central PA Friends of Jazz, one of the most successful nonprofit jazz organizations in the country. Winner of the 1999 Jazziz Magazine - Seven Springs Jazz Festival Piano Competition, he has appeared in concert with master drummer Louie Bellson, Grammy winner Mark Murphy, Al Grey, John Blake, Buddy Tate, Clark Terry, Paquito D'Rivera, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Terry Gibbs, and countless other jazz greats. Five European tours, three appearances as soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony, soloist with Miami's New World Symphony and receiving Pennsylvania's Council on the Arts Jazz Fellowship in 1995 and 2001 highlight his career. Steve was presented as an "Emerging Artist" at the Jazz Times Convention in New York City in 1998. Voted "Best Musician" in the Harrisburg Magazine "Best of Central PA Poll" five years in a row, he recently received the 2002 Harrisburg Arts Award for his artistry and service to the community. He toured Russia with his trio (Bill Goodwin, drums - Victor Dvoskin, bass) in the spring of 2003 and was named a Yamaha Artist in 2004.
Just Friends (1980); Just Friends Again (1980); Three Others (1984);; Everything I Love (1994); Robin Work & The Steve Rudolph Trio: Pure Imagination (1997); A Carole for Miles (1996, unreleased); Christmas with the Steve Rudolph Trio (1998); Rudolph/Valentino Project (1998); Tom Strohman/ Steve Rudolph Quartet: In Our Prime (2000); J.D. Walter/Steve Rudolph Quartet (2003); Ryerson and Rudolph (with Ali Ryerson) (2003); Dedicated to You (featuring J. D. Walter) (2004)
The Reunion Band: Live in Munich (1988); Johnny Coles (1997, unreleased); Various artists: Crabtree & Evelyn - Music for Romance (1998), Central PA Jazz Sampler (1998); Cathy Chemi: You & I (1999); Joe Negri's: All Ellington (1999, unreleased); 21st Century Swing Band (1999); John D'earth: D'earth, D'moon & D'stars (2000, unreleased); Cal Collins: That Was Good (2000); Joe Hunt Trio: Celebrating Evans (2003); Joe Negri (2003); Dwayne Dolphin: For Robin (2004);