Jazz guitarist and composer Steve Bilodeau has been performing, recording, and teaching music for over 10 years. Initially a pianist, Steve picked up the guitar at the age of 12 and was immediately spending entire days playing the instrument.
Originally a rock and blues guitarist, Steve eventually discovered jazz and was accepted to the prestigious jazz performance program at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal, Canada. During his time at McGill, Steve was selected to partake in the esteemed “TD Canada Jazz Youth Summit” a program where 25 young musicians are selected from across the country to partake in intensive musical training for two weeks. At the end of the program, Steve was awarded the Rogers Scholarship at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival in 2010. After four years of studying with some of the finest jazz musicians in Canada, Steve graduated from McGill in 2011 with the distinction “Outstanding Achievement in Jazz guitar”.
Following graduation Steve returned to his hometown of Ottawa, Canada and started a guitar teaching business. By September 2011, only 4 months after graduating, Steve had amassed over 40 hours of students per week as well as a growing waiting list. During this time he also performed weekly at local jazz club “Le Petit Chicago” both with his own groups and as a sideman. It is also in this time that Steve began to explore the world of electronic music production and audio engineering, which have since become an important aspect of his artistry. In the summer of 2013, Steve recorded and toured behind his first official album release, the “Steve Bilodeau Group EP”. The recording features five of Bilodeau’s original compositions, all performed by a quartet of fellow McGill alumni.
Shortly thereafter, Steve was accepted to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The acceptance allowed Steve to pursue his Master’s degree in jazz performance and embark on the next chapter of his musical career. He began studying at the New England Conservatory (NEC) in September 2013.
At NEC, Steve had the opportunity to study with some of the greatest living jazz musicians, including the likes of Billy Hart, Jerry Bergonzi, Fred Hersch, Miguel Zenon and Jason Moran. In January 2014, Steve was selected to partake in the prestigious “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The next month he was awarded a prestigious grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to help assist in funding his education at NEC. In April 2015 Steve was accepted to the “Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music” with a full scholarship. In May 2015, Steve graduated with his Master’s degree in jazz performance from NEC.
There are many talented musicians in today’s scene, yet it is the depth and diversity of knowledge spanning a broad range of musical interests that sets Steve Bilodeau apart. At 26 he is already an expert guitarist, creative composer, gifted teacher, talented hip-hop and electronic music producer, bandleader, and musical personality. Nonetheless, Steve is continually working to expand and deepen his knowledge and skills in all of these areas. Eventually, Steve plans to move to New York City to continue his musical growth. No one knows what the future holds but for Steve, the future sure looks bright.