Steve Gordon began his musical education on the accordion at the age of seven, started playing the clarinet in grade school, and took up the saxophone in high school. As principal clarinetist in the Marin Youth Orchestra, his solo performances included Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, and Harp by Aaron Copland, Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes, and Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante.
In college he honed his skills on all three instruments, playing periodic gigs in California’s wine country and becoming a member of the award-winning UC Berkeley jazz ensembles. Experience with the jazz ensembles included backing up Sonny Rollins, Hubert Laws, Ed Shaughnessy, and Freddie Hubbard in the 70’s. He also played accordion, clarinet, and saxophone in vaudeville shows at Harvey’s Casino in Lake Tahoe and with a traveling circus for two months during three summers.
After college, Steve attended medical school at UCLA. Music took a back-seat to medical studies for the next several years as he completed a residency at OHSU and established his medical practice. After a hiatus of about 10 years, the lure of music became too difficult to resist and he re-entered the music scene. He has been an active member of Clarinets à la Mode, a chamber music group featuring four clarinets, since 2000. He became a regular member of Portland Columbia Symphony in 2014, and recently joined the Ne Plus Ultra Jass [sic] Orchestra, in which he plays clarinet and alto saxophone.
Steve has played accordion at local restaurants and at charity events, and enjoys a world-wide audience on YouTube. This medium brought him to the attention of a movie producer who selected his original composition and performance of “Ravenna” for use in the Sony Pictures Movie Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014). His performances of a variety of music genres on different accordions have a combined total of over 500,000 views.
Steve Gordon’s chair is sponsored by Susan & William Smith