Biography

Winner of the Bell Award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year and 2nd place in the 2013 National Jazz Awards, Steve Barry is a pianist, organist, composer and improviser based in Sydney, Australia.

A current PhD candidate in composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Steve maintains a busy schedule composing, teaching and performing across Australia, New Zealand and, more recently, Japan and East Asia. His doctoral studies investigate the use modernist constructive techniques to facilitate semi-structured, collaborative improvisation in various contexts - from piano trio to string quartet to contemporary dance.

Steve's albums Puzzles (2014) and Steve Barry (2012), as well as the Australia-Japan collaboration Orbiturtle's Sakura (2015), each received 4 star reviews in The Australian. 

Steve has performed with Mimi Jones, Camille Thurman, John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann, George Coleman Jr., Chris McNulty and Arun Luthra (USA), and Yoshio Suzuki (JPN), as well as a long list of prominent Australian musicians and groups in The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, Dale Barlow, Jamie Oehlers, Sean Wayland, James Muller, Andrew Dickeson and Andrew Gander.

Steve grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and began playing the piano at age 4. As a teenager he received the Most Outstanding Musician (2007), Best Pianist (2007), Best Keyboardist (2006, 2008), Best Composition (2008) and Band of Festival (2007, 2008) awards from the Tauranga International Jazz Festival Youth Competition. Relocating to  Australia in 2009 to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) with First Class Honours in 2011.

...dazzling in his harmonic adventurousness, melodic resourcefulness, swtichback rhythmic ideas and non-bombastic sense of drama.
— John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 November 2015
Like his piano playing, his writing is mature, smart, purposeful and intelligently varied and developed. He and his colleagues present a robust, tight ensemble sound, with a combination of energy, swing and assurance that invite repeated listening.
— Adrian Jackson, Rhythms Magazine August 2013
...equally convincing building irresistible momentum into convoluted rhythms, or shaping the wistful melody of Ambulation with the softness of a watercolourist.
— John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, August 2011

Discography

as a leader/Collaborations

As A Sideman