Steve Melling was brought up in Preston, Lancashire and continued his studies at Goldsmiths' College in London before joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. In the late 1970s he began playing professionally when he toured with Harry Beckett and Elton Dean. In 1986 Steve received the first Pat Smythe Memorial Trust Award, a financial prize for the most exceptionally promising jazz musician, presented to him by the late Ronnie Scott. He played keyboards with Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia (1986-7), and in 1987 and 1989 toured the Far East with the Clark Tracey quintet, as well as playing on three of the groups albums.He worked with Tim Whitehead's band (1988-9), and recorded the album Decision (EG) with him, an experience he described as "a very creative experience for me and a lesson in using the studio to develop musical ideas rather than just to record predetermined ones". Steve also recorded East To West with Alan Skidmore, and played on the title track of Skidmore's exquisite ballad album After The Rain (both Miles Music) with Colin Towns' Mask Symphonic.Having worked and recorded with Claire Martin and with Peter King's quartet and quintet, in 1996 Steve recorded his own album Trio Duo Solo. In the UK he has played with most major jazz musicians, including two-piano duos with Stan Tracey. Steve has also played with American stars including Elvin Jones's Jazz Machine, Phil Woods, Benny Golson, James Moody and Charles McPherson. From 1996-98 he was Professor of Jazz Piano at London's Royal College of Music.Steve is currently working with the Peter King Quartet, Alan Skidmoreâ€™s Ubizo and Esther Miller.
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