Steve Wallace (bassist) was born in 1956, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is today regarded by many as the most powerful bass player that Canada has produced. He is almost cetainly the most experienced, having begun working with visiting jazz greats in Toronto clubs such as Bourbon street, Lytes, and George’s Spaghetti House while he was still in his twenties, backing some of the music’s most famous names including Clark Terry, Harry “sweets” Edison, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, George Coleman, Zoot Sims, and Pepper Adams.
He has also recorded and toured with some of the biggest names in Canadian jazz including Fraser MacPherson, Rob McConnell, Oscar Peterson, and Oliver Jones. In 1982 Steve became associated with the Concord Jazz label, touring the Soviet Union, Europe and Japan, and recording albums as a sideman with Rosemary Clooney, Ed Bickert, Mel Torme, and others.
He became bassist with Rob McConnell’s “The Boss Brass” in 1983 and remained with the band for ten years. In 1985, he replaced ailing bassist George Duvivier to tour Europe, Japan, and Australia with Woody Herman’s All Stars, a group that included Al Cohn, Buddy Tate, Urbie Green, John bunch, and Jake Hanna. In more recent years Wallace again toured Europe frequently as member of the Oscar Peterson Trio.
He has been bassist with the Barry Elmes Quintet since its formation in 1991, and a founding member of D.E.W East (Dean, Elmes, Wallace), for whom Wallace also contributes his own new compositions. He is also a membger of Rob McConnell’s Tentet, the Mike Murley Trio, the David Braid Sextet, and the Sam Noto Quintet.
Steve Wallace is likely the most-heard musician in the three-decade-plus history of the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” concert series at the Ontario Science Centre, having played bass on no fewer than 24 individual concerts.
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