Steven Somers was born in New York City. His family moved to Ann Arbor, Mi in 1962 for two years and then Berkeley, California where his father taught Sociology and Statistics at UC Berkeley. Formal guitar lessons began at age nine and private teachers included Jim Luttrell, Jack Eskridge, Dave Creamer (Miles Davis) and George Barnes (one of the first recording artists to use an electric guitar).
Mr. Somers mostly focused on jazz, blues and popular styles until 1979 when he relocated to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and began study with classical guitarist Nelson Amos at Eastern Michigan University. He received a bachelors degree in 1984 in classical guitar performance and also studied music composition with Anthony Iannaccone, William Albright, Andrew MacDonald and George Wilson. He has written numerous compositions for guitar, piano, brass, woodwinds, strings and chamber orchestra. He received his masters degree from Eastern Michigan University (1986) in music theory/composition.
In 1990 Mr. Somers had a renewed interest in becoming a band leader again and formed the Steve Somers Band which specializes in blues, R & B and jazz styles. They have performed at many major festivals, clubs and concerts. Lead vocalist Valerie Barrymore became his wife in 1998. They have three beautiful girls now ages 18, 21 and 23 who are talented at dance, flute, DJ music, piano and singing. Mr. Somers writes music for the group and also does arranging for the horn section. The band has been nominated for numerous Detroit Music Awards and performs on a regular basis at private parties, weddings, corporate events and festivals.
He began teaching private guitar lessons as early as 1972 and had many students in California and now Michigan. Currently he is teaching music classes at the Washtenaw Community College Extension Campus which has a community program for students between the ages of 5 and 15. Mr. Somers has developed techniques for teaching young people how to play, read and write music at a young age.
During the 1990's Mr. Somers formed a music production company called Alley Records. The company does recording, cd pressing, audio post-production, graphics and equipment sales. It is during this time that Mr. Somers became a recording engineer and music producer which came naturally after all the years of experience in the music business. A new album with the Steve Somers Band is in the works that will feature new jazz, blues and R & B material.
Mr. Somers has been teaching on the main campus of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan since 2015. He teaches the WCC Jazz Ensemble and guitar classes. He has been very involved with performances at the school as well as community events. His classes now include online recording and live streaming projects. He also directs the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra Jazz Ensemble which is a non-profit group that provides tuition free classes for the community.
Mr. Somers also composes and performs music for the solo classical guitar. In 2020 he wrote three complete sonatas for guitar. He performs once a week in a live stream event where he plays jazz, classical and his own music. He has also written music for jazz band and numeorus other combinations of instruments. A solo album is now available that includes all three of his sonatas for guitar.
Original jazz compositions include Steve's Swing (2015), Apples and Oranges (2017), Fog (1969), Green Blues (2019), Tonk (1999), Blues Jam (2019), 301 Blues (2018), New York To Ypsilanti (2020), Ballade 2.0 (2021) and more.
Original classical compositions include 21rst Century Suite for Guitar (2014), Five Maya Dances (1986), Dithyramb for Piano (1987), Sketches for Chamber Orchestra(1986), Sonatas 1, 2 and 3 for Guitar (2020), Prelude for Classical Guitar and Bassoon (2020), Ballade for Piano (2018), Brass Quintet (1984), Three Pieces for Piano (1983) and more.
Mr. Somers composes music for films, commercials, special occasions and more. (Please contact regarding composition commissions).