Steven Feifke

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
jazz music
music business
Faculty Bio E-Mail

For media inquiries, please contact Media Relations

Recognized as a leading big band composer by the Recording Academy and heralded as a "masterful pianist" by JAZZIZ Magazine, Steven Feifke is an award-winning bandleader, composer, and arranger who appeared on over 30 records before turning 30 years old. A Yamaha Performing Artist and a two-time semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk (now Herbie Hancock) Jazz Piano Competition, Feifke has been featured around the world as a bandleader and alongside such premier artists as Steve Tyrell, Randy Brecker, Veronica Swift, Chad LB, and Santino Fontana.

Feifke's compositions and orchestrations have been heard at famed venues including the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center, and on TV shows such as The Masked Singer (Fox), Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix), Impractical Jokers (TruTV), and The Animaniacs (Hulu).

A respected educator, Feifke has appeared as a guest lecturer and guest artist at New York University, Yale University, Williams College, Moravian College, Northern Illinois University, and other educational institutions across the U.S. He has also been participating in educational programs, including Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People, the Catskill Jazz Factory, and Rockport Jazz Workshop, since 2011. Feifke and alto saxophonist Alexa Tarantino cofounded A Step Ahead Jazz, an online music education platform offering comprehensive programs and tailored instruction to musicians of all ages and abilities. He holds a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with two luminaries of composition and orchestration, Gil Goldstein and Jim McNeely.

Career Highlights
  • Recording credits include Season’s Swingin’ Greetings (Deluxe Edition), 2021; Prologue, 2021; Open World (Chad LB and the Global Big Band), 2021; Soul Conversations (Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band), 2021; This Bitter Earth (Veronica Swift), 2021Quartet Sessions (Chad LB), 2021; Backwards Compatible (The 8-Bit Big Band), 2021; Forbidden Love (Jeremy Cicurel), 2021; Stories (Eva Kano), 2020; Pulse (Raviv Markovitz), 2020; with more at
  • Albums include Kinetic (April 2021), the debut full-length for the Steven Feifke Big Band, which reached no. 5 on Jazz Weekly charts, and Peace in Time (January 2015), the debut album for Feifke's jazz septet, on which he serves as producer, pianist, composer, and arranger
  • Salt Optics endorsement (2021) 
  • Avid Sibelius Artist (2020)  
  • Yamaha Performing Artist (2020) 
  • David Baker Prize, Ravinia’s Bridges Composition Competition (2020)
  • First place, Bill Conti Big Band Competition (2019)
  • Semifinalist, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition (2018)
  • Second place, BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize (2016) 
  • Semifinalist, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition (2012)
  • Semifinalist, Massimo Urbani competition (2011)
  • M.M., the Manhattan School of Music, jazz composition, private composition study with Jim McNeely
  • B.M., New York University, jazz studies (piano focus), minor in economics, private composition study with Gil Goldstein (2011–2013), Jean Michel-Pilc (2010–2013) and Don Friedman (2009–2010), with additional private musical studies with Brian Lynch (2009–2010)
In Their Own Words

"I tell all my students that our goal as musicians is to get from inspiration to communication as quickly as possible. Theory, at the end of the day, is pretty similar to physics—it's just a set of rules that can help us to make sense of the world around us; in this case, the musical world around us!"

"I teach in what I call 'actionable' or 'applicable' learning. Let's take the theory out of the box and apply it to our own music together! My goal is to help all my students connect deeper to the thing that connects them to the music—whatever that is—and use the tools we learn together in our courses to better communicate their story through musical expression."

"I frequently use examples from my portfolio to show examples of how I use these concepts in my own professional work. You'll see scores I write for The Masked Singer and Comedians in Cars and any number of records I have written music for."