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Executive Director, Salt Lake Academy of Music
Musician, producer and creator of inclusive, wellness-focused music education, performance and production programs, teams and co-working facilities for youth.
I fell in love with music young - all of my family were musicians and at age 10, in the orchestra pit of the Broadway Theater where my grandfather was Concertmaster, I was hooked. Hearing all of those instruments up-close left me in awe of my grandfather...and music, itself.
Charles Fleischman, promo photo at age 21. My grandfather on my mom's side. Grandpa Charlie carried his weight his whole life on crutches due to polio. He was revered and loved by many. He was raised in tenement housing in The Bronx, graduated from Julliard School of Music on scholarship with my grandmother, with whom he played the White House several times, he worked in the orchestra on Sid Caesar's Show of Shows, became Concertmaster at the Broadway Theater for 20 years (where he literally was 'The fiddler on the Roof" and moved to California to become concertmaster for the CBS Orchestra playing scores for TV showS like Kojak.
I started on clarinet at age 9 or so in elementary school and continued in high school band and jazz ensemble. By age 12, I tried guitar but I didn't do very well with it. At age 15 I heard Chick Corea, Rick Wakeman, and Joe Zawinul so I talked my high school jazz director, Bill Ellington who allowed me to try, and gave me a practice room key on the condition that I meet him after school for jazz piano lessons. My music friends met me in that tiny piano practice room after-school to jam until the janitor kicked us out! We had kids piled up in there with amps and drums and horns and stuff - it was crazy fun.
Old Tarrytown Road School Band Director, Mr. Gerard and me after a band concert, age 12.
Choir class with Gospel recording artist, composer-turned teacher, Evelyn LaRue Pittman was like being in church. Walking down the halls when the GOOD singers were singing would stop me in my tracks to listen in awe.
Growing up in the 1970s in New York, thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1968, NY schools were by then, integrated. So I was bussed to the black neighborhood for school and vice-versa. Our high school was maybe 50% black, 5% Japanese, 15% Jewish, 15% Italian, 5% Latino and 10% other Caucasian (French, English, Scottish, German, etc.).
Integration provided me black music partners who shared albums and tapes of Parliament-Funkadelic and Al Green I shared the same from Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin. In my high school years, Bill Ellington managed to inspire music careers for me, the A&M Records R&B hit-machine Atlantic Starr, Mark Plati my High School Jazz Ensemble bassist and David Bowie music director and co-producer and many more.
Mr. Ellington was also my mentor for my senior project; writing, arranging, copying, rehearsing and performing two pieces for a 20+ piece big band that I talked my friends into doing!
I played jazz, rock and funk keyboards and blues harmonica throughout my teens. Back then, you only had to be 18 to get into a nightclub. So between 17 and 19, I had been gigging and recording with a couple of bands in New York. I didn't like the scene and moved to Los Angeles.
Baby rockstars: Mike 'Flea' Blazary, age 14 maybe and Alain Johannes, age 16 or so. I have no pix form this time period and got this one from Alain. Might have been 2 years before we met.
Daydream - 2020
JAXON BROWN'S debut recording, DAYDREAM was recorded during the Covid19 pandemic at SLAM's Sugar House studios June-August, 2020 . Written and recorded by the 19 year-old former student, Jaxon plays almost all of the instruments other than drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and saxophone on a few tracks. Other than the songs themselves, one of the most impressive things about the album is that Jaxon showed-up with a well-rehearsed group of friends who all knew their parts and executed them under Jaxon's direction efficiently and professionally.
Steve Auerbach, Engineer/Co-Producer
TV Pilot Demo Tracks - 2020
All tracks written by Rocco Fonzarelli, Arranged, programmed and performed by Steve with Rocco on guitar, vocals and the 'boyzz' on backing vocals.
Engineered by Steve Auerbach and Produced by Auerbach & Fonzarelli
MAIN STREET MARIGOLD
Spare Change - 2020
MAIN STREET MARIGOLD is a recording project that formed during the 2020 Pandemic to write and record this 4-song album during two one-week summer camps in June, 2020. Each song theme was brought by each member and developed as a team.
Miles Buchmann - Drums, Piano
Tallulah Schweitz - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Jimi Nez - Guitar
Connor Bliss - Guitar, Vocals
Steve Auerbach, Co-Producer
Terence Hansen, Co-Producer, Engineer
Odola - 2020
Odola is an Ethiopian refugee who wrote this song and sang it in Amharic (or maybe Swahili). It is about falling in love on social media.
Steve Auerbach, Producer & Engineer
Elefante - 2019
2019 - Cavedoll's 21st album ELEFANTE is Camden Chamberlain's four years in the making masterpiece.
One my favorite producers and a genius of both production and songcraft. This album is an art rock album (to me) that I hope that you enjoy!
Steve Auerbach, Clavinet & Synths
SOME OF MY GHOSTS - 2015
Terence is a renowned genius of the guitar; playing two guitar necks at ones while singing. I play keyboards on the two tracks above. What I Don't Have features Bon Jovi bassist Hugh McDonald.
Steve Auerbach, Piano & Organ
SHADOW MACHINE - 2017
In LA, my first friend was Peter Wesley, a DJ at at Madame Wong's and Cathay De Grande - two seminal LA punk/new wave clubs. He invited me to a house party the night the Talking Heads album, Remain in Light was released. It was totally different music from any we had heard before; Talking Heads meets Afrobeat. It was groundbreaking.
There were a bunch of kids my age at the listening party - we were all dancing like maniacs to this new music. Four of the kids also played music, so we got together and jammed on some funk in a Chilean kid, Alain's mom's garage. We tried to make a funk band, but Alain Johannes got a contract with MCA that year with his band, What is This? (later Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, PJ Harvey, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and more) and the other kids; Hillel on guitar, Mike (Flea) on Flugelhorn and Jack on drums went on to become the Red Hot Chili Peppers that summer.
I landed a job at Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks selling synthesizers, which were all the rage at the time and scores of famous artists and producers came down from Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon, Encino Hills and so on - all wanting the latest sounds on their records.
I met most of my clients there and made my career as a synthesizer mentor/consultant to rock and pop stars and producers. I was a recording session keyboard player, synthesist, sound designer and pre-production consultant for Rick James, Berlin, Rockwell, Harry Balk, Avatar Records, Tina Marie, Kansas, Devo, Van Halen, Kenny Loggins, Smokey Robinson, Sonny Burke, Frank Zappa, Ike Willis and many others. I finished up in LA as Staff Writer and Arranger at Avatar Records in Malibu working for blue-eyed soul Detroit producer Harry Balk.
I moved to Utah in the late 1980s and was soon Teaching Assistant at the University of Utah for the Composer-in-Residence, Dr. Vladimir Ussachevsky. Dr. U was an electronic music pioneer who co-founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Laboratory, heck the guy composed with a razor blade, stopwatch and a reel-to-reel tape deck! During my time at the U of U I launched a film scoring program with the film department after I scored a soundtrack for a film that won an award at a NY film festival.
I got back into performing music in SLC's 1990s music scene with bands like The Committed, Blue Healer, Dick & Jane, Control, Saltifunk, H. Street, Chunga's Revenge, Ike Willis & Chunga's Revenge and more. The bands had attracted agency representation but when our agent moved out of the country, I took over his Planet Agency and grew it from local casual and corporate business to international scale by adding members of Frank Zappa, Jane's Addiction, George Clinton's P-Funk All-Stars, Rat Dog, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, The Minutemen and Wilco to the roster.
In 2003, I booked Ike Willis (Frank Zappa) for an all Zappa music festival in Germany where Willis was part of the documentary film, Rock School about the founder of School of Rock, Paul Green. Green had brought his students from Philadelphia and Willis was impressed. Green got my phone number from Willis to talk about growing his business and after two years of courtship, Green hired me to begin the national expansion of what became School of Rock. I developed and supervised five western USA branches for those nice people until the company was sold.
So in 2009 I started musicgarage.org. Since then, hundreds of Utah's youth have enrolled at musicgarage.org for an average of 3.5 years, performing on over 300 venue and festival stages, writing and recoding original music and making memories for a lifetime.
The inscription of Salt Lake City Weekly Newspaper's 2014 Best of Utah award says it all:
BEST MENTOR TO FUTURE ROCK STARS: MUSICGARAGE.ORG
Junior high can be some of the most difficult years in a young person’s life, and finding your passion and someone who believes in you can make all the difference. For many local young folks, MusicGarage.Org founder Steve Auerbach is that person. The music-education programs and private instruction available through MusicGarage.Org are often a kid’s bridge from feeling like an outcast to working toward a common goal with like-minded musicians. The kids are challenged through group sessions, as well as playing at local shows and festivals. When they graduate, they do so equipped with the tools to make a career out of playing music—or at least to do what they love for life.
My work is a privilege. I sure do look forward to doing more in the future!
Business background on me at https://linkedin.com/in/steveauerbach1
Emanon - 2016
EMANON are an original progressive rock band that formed and recorded by our staff, students and graduates performing at Utah Arts Festival, Keetley Music Festival, Craft Lake City Festival, Kilby Court and many more! Click the photo for more information!
Terence Hansen, Co-Producer
Dylan 'Osito' Proesch, Co-Producer
Hallovved - 2016
HALLOVVED are an original rock band that formed and recorded at MusicGarage.Org and have performed at festivals and venues statewide! Click the photo for more infomation.
Terence Hansen, Producer
Come Out and Play - 2015
INSIDE JOB (ages 10-17) are students in the MusicGarage.Org after-school rock band program in Salt Lake City, Utah. Inside Job perform at festivals, special events and other venues in and around Salt Lake City. The band pictured WON this recording session as a prize for their efforts at the 2016 BEAU BATTLES contest. Deep thanks to BEAU (Broadview Entertainment Arts University) for the super-cool prize and to BEAU Lab Engineer, 'Mighty' Heather Meigs for getting a great performance from the band and producing a sweet mix for them!
Gateways - 2015
Forget Everything from the GATEWAYS album is self-produced by former students. Ryan DeBlanc, Producer
When Creative Director, Chip Haskell asked for "An anti-tobacco, superhero action-figure theme song that is not a parody..." I came up with this. I produced the music and sang this 2008 Truth About Tobacco Campaign's TV spots for Crowell Advertising.
Steve Auerbach, Producer and Vocals
'SMOKERMAN' THE TRUTH ABOUT TOBACCO, ANTI SMOKING CAMPAIGN ADS
THE UTAH KID - 2008
THE UTAH KID ALBUM DEMOS
I loved working with this artist. We met in his 72nd year and demo'd up tracks at my studio for his bandmates from the 1960s to learn and come to SLC for a reunion show and album. Kenvin Lyman, the Utah Kid was a genius; the renaissance man who painted in light. Google him! This track is scratch demo of the arrangement I came up with for this song about the home he grew up in Morgan, Utah.
Steve Auerbach - All instruments.
YOU CAN DO HALLOWEEN ONSTAGE VOL 1
I represented, managed and produced former Frank Zappa singer-guitarist, Ike Willis from 1999-2003.
On Halloween Night 2001, I was invited by Ike to play as 'special guest' performer at this benefit a few blocks from Ground Zero only 50 days after the 911 attack on New York City.
As a New York teen, my friends and I used go see Frank Zappa every Halloween just a few blocks away from Irving Plaza and on this night, I got to perform his music with the guys on the record for my teen (now adult) friends...and their (now adult) kids!
In the top link, I play piano and sing backing vocals on Uncle Remus and in the bottom link, I play the synthesizer solo on Inca Roads. Both are in tribute to the late George Duke.
Auerbach, Thomas & Flanders - 2008
AUERBACH, THOMAS & FLANDERS
Auerbach, Thomas & Flanders is a trio where I play left hand bass with the drummer, Shawn Thomas with John Flanders on woodwinds. This is just a rehearsal recoding, but all I have of this. Some clams, but fun!
Steve Auerbach, Keybaords & Vocals
Selected Works - 2002
I co-produced this compilation for Frank Zappa Singer & Guitarist, Ike Willis with Ike and Grammy Award-winning producer, Douglas Spotted Eagle in 2002
IKE WILLIS & CHUNGA'S REVENGE
IKE WILLIS & CHUNGA'S REVENGE
PERFORM THE MUSIC OF FRANK ZAPPA
LIVE AT THE FOX THEATER
I got to create, develop, produce and play in this Frank Zappa tribute band with Ike Wills (on 25 or more Frank Zappa albums from 1980-1993).
Great musicians, fun music and killer shows like this one at Denver's Fox Theater in 2000.
MUSIC SKETCHBOOK 2009-2019
Below are some experiments and music al sketches.
FILM SOUNDTRACK, 1987
While a student at the University of Utah, I composed and produced this soundtrack to an experimental film, "Malignant" by Mel Halbach about the deterioration of industrialized man that won an award at a New York Film Festival.
FISHING WITH PETER - 1987
While a student at the University of Utah, I was privileged to serve as Teaching Assistant and Manager of the Electronic Music Laboratory for two years under Dr. Vladimir Ussachevsky, one of the grandfathers of electronic music pictured in the center of the photo taken at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Laboratory in Harlem, NY, which he co-founded. This piece, "Fishing with Peter" (Auerbach, 1987) is dedicated to Dr. U. and is about baptism, redemption, salvation and hope. All composed with tape loops, Steiner Modular Synthesizer, Yamaha TX16 and some 1960s, 70's and 80's vintage outboard gear we had at the Lab (studio) to Otari 8-Track.