Adegoke Steve Colson

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant Recipient

Adegoke Steve Colson

Recipient Information


Montclair, New Jersey

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant

Grant Amount


About the Project

To write, rehearse, perform, and audio/video document new extended work for octet celebrating the Harlem School for the Arts and renewing artistic practice with students across multi-disciplines (dance, theater). Colson will collaborate with the Jazz Program to perform during  A Train Festival of the Arts. Masterclasses/Performances for students, families and the community will also occur.

Residency location 

New York, NY

About the Artist

ADEGOKE STEVE COLSON has performed internationally as leader of jazz ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. His work is recorded on labels including Columbia/Sony, Evidence, and Black Saint. Among various international accolades received, his Solo Piano recording Tones For was picked as March 2016 Jazz Times Editor’s Choice. Praise for prior recordings as leader include The Untarnished Dream - with musical partner Iqua Colson and Jazz Legends Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman -  voted into the top 10 % of the Jazz Critics Poll. His work is discussed in many languages and is found in countless magazines, newspapers, periodicals, and several books.

He received his degree from Northwestern University School of Music and he lived in Chicago for a decade before returning to the East Coast. In Chicago he became an early member of The Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a Chicago-based musicians’ collective that has had international influence on music in the 20th and 21st Century. Steve has received several commissions musical composition; some of his originals are now in the repertoire of other musicians  and have been performed and recorded by jazz greats such as Richard Davis, Hannibal and John Hicks. As a headliner he shared billing and stage with luminaries, from Dizzy Gillespie, Dr. Billy Taylor and Ray Charles, to Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson and Freddie Hubbard. His bands have included musical innovators such as Anthony Davis, Rachelle Farrell, Oliver Lake, David Murray, Tyshawn Sorey, and Henry Threadgill. His collaborations with acclaimed artists in other disciplines include visual artist Willie Cole, screen writer Richard Wesley, legendary dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and frequently, Master Poet-Playwright-Activist, Amiri Baraka.

Always involved in education, Steve was one of 21 artist-educators selected from around the country by the National Endowment of the Arts to pilot the concept of Artist Residencies in the 1980s. He is currently artist in residence in Jazz Studies at Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts; lectures internationally; teaches in NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens program; is a Professor in the Bloomfield College Creative Arts & Technology Department, and a Lecturer at Rutgers University.

In late 2018 Steve was inducted into The East Orange Hall of Fame, joining several other distinguished E.O. talents including Althea Gibson, Dionne Warwick, Naughty by Nature, John Amos, and Whitney Houston.