Steve Graeber, is a saxophonist and composer, originally from Chicago, who specializes in funk and electronic music. As a solo artist, he has created his own modern jazz-funk sound and continues to collaborate with many talented artists across numerous genres.
A life-long student of the saxophone, Graeber devoured and incorporated early influences such as The Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, and Bob Berg. He later wrapped his ears around classical saxophone music, Miles Davis' 1970's jazz-fusion, The Brecker Brothers, The Doors, Funkadelic, and other genres like rock and Drum n’ Bass.
Graeber’s first hit recording was at the age of 19, with Roy Davis Jr., on the house music classic, “Who Dares to Believe in Me?” Released on Strictly Rhythm in 1993, this huge club hit has been re-released on dozens of compilations by artists such as Paul Oakenfold and Doc Martin. Their collaboration has continued over the years, with Graeber’s sax solos featured on a number of Davis’s productions, including "About Love," "Michael," and "Melodies From Heaven". Both their music and their friendship have taken the two all over the world with Graeber joining in on Davis’ live DJ shows, most recently in Los Angeles and Chicago.
As a young performer, Graeber headed to the Hawaiian islands in the mid 90’s, playing live shows and deepening his style and technique on the sax. Three years later, he took that momentum back to Chicago and performed with Peven Everett and Davis for a sold-out show at Club Metro. As word spread about his talent, he landed studio recording sessions with artists such as Terry Hunter, Felix Da Housecat, Glenn Underground, and K Alexi. A personal highlight in Chicago for him was opening for Galactic and The Greyboy Allstars in 1997. Around this time he began to work on the art of recording and mixing music with the help of Chicago legend, Joey Fernandez.
Graeber began composing original music in 1998 and creating his own style of funk, incorporating electronic effects into his live shows with a variety of artists. Graeber traces his love for funk back to 1978, when as a child he would spend his time listening to only the “nastiest funk” on the radio. Being a child of the late 70's, television shows had a significant influence on him as well. Shows like CHiPs, Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, and the Saturday morning classic The Superfriends still have a strong influence on his sound.
2002 proved to be a busy year, playing at the Montreal Jazz Festival, performing in Tokyo at Club Yellow, and recording the sax solo for Seal's "Get It Together," a Billboard #1 remix for Warner Brothers Records. While based out of Chicago, Graeber continued to play with bands in multiple genres including jazz, R&B, and soul. During this time he began performing with some of South Chicago's finest gospel musicians, adding new level of depth to his playing.
In 2006 Graeber moved to Los Angeles where he began working with producers Mark Howard, Sam Sparro, Jesse Rogg, and DJ Duke. He has played and recorded with bands such as The New Mastersounds, The Brian Buckley Band, Dan Rockett, House of Vibe Allstars, Scott Doherty, and Feel Good. Graeber has also enjoyed Hollywood’s music scene, playing all the major clubs - The Whisky A Go-Go, The Roxy, The Mint, and The Troubadour. Los Angeles has also brought him the opportunity to play with great musicians like Ricky Lawson, Will Kennedy of the Yellowjackets, and Zak Najor of The Greyboy Allstars.
Graeber’s 2011 album, Space Bush is a culmination of years of work in developing his own jazz-funk sound. The album notably features Zak Najor on drums, Dave Sampson on guitar, Jay Cappo on keyboards, and a long list of L.A. and Chicago musicians. Space Bush is a personal and important statement of Graeber’s sound and influence, carefully produced and arranged.