Bassist/composer Steve Walch draws from a wealth of different influences to form his own unique style of bass playing and composing. Steve went from playing in alternative rock and ska bands in high school to being the principal bass player in his university’s orchestra and jazz ensemble, and has utilized each of those experiences to help form his own identity. His musical influences include but are not limited to: Charlie Haden, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Ben Allison, Victor Wooten, James Jamerson, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Trombone Shorty, Radiohead, Outkast, Jack White, Sublime, Lake Street Dive, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Beatles.
He came to the University of Alabama in 2013 as a music therapy major studying classical piano as his primary instrument with Dr. Kevin Chance. That year he also played electric bass in a jazz combo class led by Rob Alley. The jazz combo class was so inspiring that Steve decided to buy an upright bass that summer and switched to a Jazz Studies major that fall. After a year of practicing and studying the upright bass with Chris Kozak and Michael Johnson, he became principal bass player of the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, the UA Jazz Ensemble, and the UA Jazz Standards Combo in the 2015-16 school year. Steve graduated with a BM in Music Performance and a concentration in Jazz Studies in May of 2017. While at UA Steve studied arranging/composition/recording with Tom Wolfe, jazz improvisation with Dr. Jon Noffsinger, composition and counterpoint with Amir Zaheri, jazz piano with Matt Wiley, and classical bass playing with Ben Crofut.
In 2015, Steve studied with Ben Allison while he was a guest artist at UA. After this experience, Steve began to get back into his longtime passion, composing. He wrote all original arrangements and one original composition for his junior recital, and shortly after formed the Medicine Men, which started as a contemporary jazz project that focused on his original compositions. During Steve's final semester at UA, he produced and recorded his own album with the Medicine Men, featuring 7 of his original compositions (Listen to it here).
Upon relocating to New Orleans in 2018, Steve disbanded the original lineup of the Medicine Men and started the Medicine Men Duo with Alana Guarino on flute and vocals. Currently you can hear them many evenings busking on Royal Street of the FQ. As Steve continues to become more established in the Crescent City, he hopes to build the Medicine Men back up to a full lineup with New Orleans musicians.
Before the Medicine Men, Steve played in many different settings, from ska and alternative, to blues and funk, to jazz and classical. He also played gospel music on the electric bass for the Beaulah Baptist Church in Northport, AL every Sunday for 3 years, and has played with Tuscaloosa/Birmingham musicians Matt Jones, Carlos Pino, Jonathan Harms, Matt Wiley, Choko Aiken, Carl Morris, Debbie Bond, Radiator Rick, Dave Crenshaw, Steve Ramos, Michael Glaser, Ben Holcomb, Rob Alley, Daniel Western, Dan Kolan, Kris Bitten, Nick Boyd, Tom Wolfe and Jon Noffsinger. Steve has played at many Tuscaloosa music venues, including the pit orchestra for musicals (SummerTide Theatre, Theatre Tuscaloosa, ACTS Charitable Theater, and UA Theater), local bars and clubs, private parties, and the Moody Music Building at UA.
Steve has been teaching bass, piano and guitar since high school, and quickly realized that teaching is one of his many passions. To Steve, teaching is not only a means of sharing all the knowledge that he has accumulated through the years, but also a way of learning through his students.
Although Steve is no longer pursuing a music therapy certification, he still views his performances as a way of spiritually healing and connecting with his audience as well as fellow musicians.