After completing his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Memphis, Steve Holley was asked to teach in the school’s Jazz Studies Program under the direction of Gene Rush. In addition to teaching at the University and Rhodes College, Steve had the fortune of playing in the thriving music scene of Memphis where he often had to make the choice between going to an 8am philosophy class or playing a gig with Al Green’s horn section the night prior…decisions, decisions… After being heavily involved in the Memphis music scene playing jazz, classical, R&B, soul, gospel, rock, and Broadway shows, he toured the US for two years.
Afterwards, Steve moved to Colorado where he was hired by the Kent Denver School to revamp their fading music program. Today, the school’s Commercial Music Program has been recognized with awards from Downbeat Magazine more than any school of its kind in the country. Members of the CMP have performed abroad at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Porretta Soul Festival, and Havana, Cuba, as well as throughout the United States in New Orleans, Memphis, Denver, New York, Miami, and San Diego, among others. In addition, Steve has arranged over 500 charts that are part of the Kent Denver and Soundhouse libraries.