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Check Out Steven Schwartz’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Schwartz.

Hi Steven, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA but moved to New Orleans for college in 2007. After graduating from Loyola University New Orleans for Music Education and Jazz Saxophone, I have spent the past 11 years immersing myself in the music industry and playing professionally as a musician. I am the band leader, manager, and main composer for my band The Crooked Vines but I also freelance on Piano, Saxophone, and Guitar in addition to performing regularly with a number of bands including Water Seed, Faith Becnel, Louise Cappi, The Fleurtations, The Big Easy Boys, The Tempted, Ainsley Matich, and others. The genres of these groups encompass a broad range including jazz, blues, R&B, pop, funk, rock, soul, and more. My band has released three albums but I have also released another two under my own name, one of them a soundtrack for a film I scored. All of these albums are available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all music platforms. I own a publishing company, Crooked Publishing Worldwide, that handles the publishing and royalty business for my music. I have performed on a few album recordings with other bands and artists in New Orleans as well. In addition to gigging regularly I teach private music lessons during weekday afternoons for Piano, Saxophone, and Guitar. I have also taught in a few schools in the New Orleans area over the years.

I recently started a podcast called Crooked Conversations where I have interviews and conversations with musicians, both local to New Orleans and national, and discuss the highs, lows and behind-the-scenes of the music industry. One of my recent guests was Sinead Fahey who was very active in the Baltimore music scene before moving to New Orleans the other year. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and all other platforms.

I am also starting to venture into artist management and artist consultant roles for other acts, which is very exciting as I hope to bring my experience and knowledge to other artists.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been many challenges along the way as the music industry often seems like two steps forward, one step back. My band has been in talks with management deals a number of times over the years that just didn’t pan out. We also once signed with a touring company that folded due to internal issues only a couple months after we joined them. Covid was obviously a huge set-back for performing and touring but also allowed for us to look within to be creative. Leading a band in any capacity requires constant schedule adjusting and problem-solving as well as personnel changes over the years. And the journeys not done yet!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a composer, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist, educator, manager, music director, publisher, booking agent, and more. I specialize in organizing people and ideas and managing them. I am known for being proactive and professional. I am most proud of the three albums that my band The Crooked Vines has released and I am excited for the new material we will be releasing soon as well as some of the material that I will be releasing soon under my own name. Consistency and perseverance set me apart from others.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I try to be as prepared as possible and take advantages of opportunities I encounter. In life I have been extremely fortunate and I am glad of where I am. That being said, I do work for what I have.

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Image Credits
Colton Gray, Katie Sikora, Connor Reever, Evan Thibodeaux

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