Steve Laciak is a multifaceted and multitalented musician. Upon graduating from Shenandoah Conservatory with a major in Jazz Studies, Steve has been writing, recording, teaching, and performing throughout the United States and abroad. His last few years have been spent in the Northern California town of Alameda, across the bay from San Fransisco. There he has been developing his own music in addition to playing with Motown legend Martha Reeves and the group A Gozar featuring cajon player Rene Escovido. Check the Reflection and Response Interview below and Steve’s Soundcloud to listen in on a True Artist.
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
SL: I’m from back East, born in St. Paul but raised in upstate NY. After studying Jazz in VA I toured Europe and the Caribbean before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being fortunate enough to travel and be exposed to many different cultures, deeper than surface levels of tourist traps, I have recognized the importance of music to people around the world. It is a universal expression, but also helps shape a culture’s identity. It transcends every distinction that has evolved throughout human history, and yet it continues to keep us connected despite our limited understanding of language, sound or music. We do not need to “understand” the music to enjoy it or for it to affect us.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you? How does your music fit in with that definition?
SL: As an artist, I’m often consciously addressing issues of the day on a trans-personal or a personal level. We voice concerns that are shared by our friends, families, community or cultures, as a loud speaker. Throughout history, movements either political or social, have been accompanied by musical movements. Music has wide ranging affects from calming to exciting, consoling to galvanizing, it can be therapeutic and it can bring tears. I feel it my responsibility to share music that blesses me with everyone I can. There is so much wonderful music already in the world, that it’s difficult to be familiar with it all. With so much new music or music yet to be written, it’s important to remember our musical heritage and traditions while we embrace the new. I love sharing the gift of music, continuing the tradition that has always existed, and if this is not the responsibility of artist then who’s is it?
When I reflect on the divine nature of music it becomes obvious how powerful it is. The more music we can appreciate, or begin to appreciate, the more ways we open ourselves to to the wonderful joy and blessings that music gives. We can benefit in ways we may not fully understand, but our lives become enriched from it regardless.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
SL: I’ve been working on a new EP; it should be out this summer. It’s along the indie folk acoustic tip. We were in studio this week working on “Big Shot”, the most country sounding song on the EP, and we recorded the guitar solo as a conversation between myself and the engineer, Jim Hawthorne. He’s an amazing guitarist so we traded phrases back and forth and finished with a harmonized line ala Chet Atkins! I’m hoping to get some airplay with this new CD and garner some national attention.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
SL: I’m moving from my home 12 years in the bay area to Tennessee, next month. It’s a very exciting time in my life! I’m looking forward to what the immediate future has in store.
Tennessee Lullaby by Steve Laciak
Reflection and Response.