Steve Rochinski


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Steve Rochinski is a professor in the Harmony Department at Berklee College of Music. An accomplished guitarist, recording artist, and internationally known performer and clinician, he has received numerous grants and awards, including a 1993 Jazz Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for private study with Tal Farlow.

Before coming to Berklee, Rochinski toured for many years, workign with the Candoli Brothers, Tal Farlow, Attila Zoller, Jimmy Raney, Tim Hagans, Pat Harbison, Gary Foster, Hank Marr, and many others. In 1995, he released the critically acclaimed album Until Further Notice. He currently records for Jardis Records, Germany's leading jazz guitar label. His releases include A Bird in the Hand and Otherwise.

Rochinski is the author of the award-winning The Jazz Style of Tal Farlow: The Elements of Bebop Guitar and the Motivic Basis for Jazz Guitar Improvisation. In November 2001, he was featured in Just Jazz Guitar magazine.

Career Highlights
  • Guitarist, arranger, and music director for The Anthony Tillman Show
  • Guitarist with Pete and Conte Candoli, Tim Hagans, Bob Dogan, and Pat Harbison
  • Concert appearances with Gary Foster, Tal Farlow, Attila Zoller, and Jimmy Raney
  • Clinician with Tal Farlow
  • Author of The Jazz Style of Tal Farlow
  • Jardis Records recording artist
  • Internationally active performer/clinician
  • Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship


In Their Own Words

"I keep it always grounded in the sound. Sound comes first, and notation is secondary. There are people who teach music for whom it's really very much a head trip and not something that is grounded in the empirical, experiential world. A lot of students come in here with some prior formal training, but with a disconnect between the sound and the notation. Quite often they will analyze something based on a visual construct, and the actual sound of the music turns out very different from what their analysis tends to be."

"I try to emphasize the importance of three things: Everything that they learn from me will be synthesized through their writing, whether it's composition or arrangement; through performance and improvisation; and through their understanding of the responsibility of all musicians to teach what it is that they know. Some of the best teachers that I have ever come across were people who were solidly established in their field as players and/or writers, and they never saw teaching as something that was a distraction to that; it's the Howard Roberts model. It's a triad of responsibilities: playing, writing, and instructing others. It's an obligation to the maintenance of the continued viability of this art form. Who else is going to do it?"

"There are so many people in the world who would love to be here, but can't. So the online school fills that vacuum. I teach a couple sections of the harmony class online. The students are generally older, quite bright and experienced, but it runs the entire spectrum of beginners who don't know a quarter note from a 25-cent piece to people who are working, professional musicians but who never had a lot of the basic foundations of harmony as they were coming up. The online school helps to bridge that gap."