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Guitar luminary STEVEN COLE grew up in New York City and began playing the violin in elementary school.  He continued on double bass at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, and it was during this time he learned to play the guitar on his own, progressing through a variety of styles from rock, folk, and bluegrass, to classical, and later became interested in jazz. Steven attended Ithaca college in the music program as an orchestral bassist. After leaving Ithaca he traveled around the US, England and France performing as a solo acoustic guitarist and singer.

Cole moved to Montreal in 1975 where he joined the jazz vocal Bug Alley Band as the group’s guitarist/arranger and one of four vocalists.  Bug Alleywent on to appear on a number of radio and TV shows, the Lotto Canada Show among them, and recorded for CBC Radio.  In 1980, he became active in the Bay Area music scene working with several of the leading jazz artists there, performed in the 1981 Monterey Jazz Festival and played a stint with Chet Baker in 1983.   He was also guitar instructor for the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley during that time.  After moving back to NYC, he continued his music studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the City University of New York.

Steven Cole leads his own ensembles – the Steven Cole Group and 25 Strings. He has performed with many of Toronto’s leading jazz artists and bands including John Cheeseman’s Jazz Orchestra, Bruce Cassidy’s ‘Hotfoot’ Band, Kingsley Ettienne’s organ trio, the Toronto Art Orchestra, Brownman Ali, and several important music festivals including the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2003.

This evening’s stellar STEVEN COLE QUARTET features jazz masters COLLEEN ALLEN on saxophone, PETER TELFORD on bass, and drummer BEN BALL, entertaining in the up-close-and-personal ambience of The Home Smith Bar.