Site last updated on 3/26/18
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"Plays a mean guitar" --Lloyd Schwartz (Boston Phoenix, NPR, Pulitzer Winner

Jeffry Hamilton Steele


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Brief Biography

 Jeffry performing at CalumetOut of rock guitar beginnings, Jeffry Hamilton Steele developed into a solo recitalist on the classical guitar -- his principal teachers being Phillip de Fremery and David Starobin. While residing in Boston (1978-90), he worked with singers and contemporary chamber ensembles (Griffin Ensemble, Tanglewood's Fromm Festival, Peter Sellars Productions, Dinosaur Annex), at the same time composing and transcribing many works for his own flute-viola-guitar trio Primary Colors. In the early 80s he produced a number of topical chamber pieces -- involving slides and dramatic readings -- which he brought to the public in a series of Central America benefit concerts. Inspired by trips to Nicaragua (1984-5), he formed Por la Paz to bring further topical pieces to schools and colleges. In the 1990s, he began teaching music in K-12 classrooms and performed his "50 Ways to Play Guitar" show for many schools around New England. He holds a Masters in Composition from New England Conservatory in Boston. He has led music for worship at a number of churches, colleges, for pastoral retreats and ecumenical gatherings. His composition credits include television, film, theater and dance productions -- and he is remembered out East for his collaborations with choreographer Carl Thomsen. He has six CDs out and Mel Bay has published two of his pieces in their Master Anthology of New Classic Guitar Solos.

In 2009, Steele moved from Gloucester, MA -- city of his birth -- to Tacoma, WA, where he continues to compose new works for the guitar and serve as a music minister. He teaches guitar weekends at The Music & Art Institute in University Place, WA. He recently added a career as a Mental Health Therapist and Chemical Dependency Professional, having received a second masters from St Martin's U. He is married to Monica Steele, also a musician, and has two step sons.

above background art by Carla Mattioli Awakening Arts
photo by Raoul Sevier

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