Steven Lugerner

Sax/Woodwinds – Director of Educational and Festival Programming


s a multi-instrumentalist and composer, Steven Lugerner lives in San Francisco and maintains musical ties to the Los Angeles, Chicago & New York City music scenes. As a bandleader, Lugerner leads both SLUGish Ensemble, an amoeba-like ensemble dedicated to original compositions & arrangements in addition to JACKNIFE, a hard-hitting post-bop quintet dedicated to the music of late alto saxophonist Jackie McLean.  Since 2010, Lugerner has released multiple albums to critical acclaim – It Takes One to Know One (2022) SLUGish Ensemble: An Eight Out of NIne (2018), JACKNIFE: The Music of Jackie McLean (2016), Gravitations Vol 1-3 (2013-15) For We Have Heard (2013), Narratives (2010) & These Are The Words (2010). His compositions have been described as “a textured, nearly seamless blend of composition and improvisation” by The Village Voice – while the New York Times calls him “an impeccably trained multi- reedist.”  The San Francisco Examiner as praised “Lugerner’s approach to making music is very much his own; and he seems to be pursuing it to impressive advantage.”

In a relatively short period of time, 35-year-old Bay Area native Steven Lugerner has collaborated with a heavyweight roster of jazz masters including, legend pianist Fred Hersch, Grammy award winning pianist Taylor Eigsti, pioneering pianist Myra Melford; vocalist Lisa Fischer, drum legends Albert Tootie Heath, Eric Harland, Matt Wilson, John Hollenbeck and Allison Miller; saxophonists Jane Ira Bloom, Dayna Stephens and Anat Cohen ; trumpeter Ralph Alessi, flutist Jamie Baum and bassist Todd Sickafoose.

Raised in the sleepy suburbs of San Francisco, CA, Steven Lugerner is the product of a multicultural, artistically nurturing family. In his youth, Lugerner performed on clarinet, oboe & saxophone with college orchestras & professional pit orchestras while simultaneously organizing and performing DIY local performances. In 2006, Lugerner moved to New York City to attend The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he graduated with honors four years later. Lugerner spent the next three years after graduation freelancing in NYC and touring as a member of CHIVES, In One Wind, killerBOB and his own SLUGish Ensemble. It was during this period Lugerner established musical connections throughout the country, expanding his network to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and beyond. In 2013, Steven relocated back to San Francisco where he took a position working at the Stanford Jazz Workshop as Director of Educational and Festival Programming. Lugerner is also the founder of Slow & Steady Records, a non-profit record label dedicated to showcasing west coast creative artists.

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