Steve Talaga

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music
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Steve Talaga is an adjunct professor of music at Hope. As a pianist, composer and arranger, Steve has been performing professionally for more than 30 years.

He has also been a member of the music faculties at Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone University and Grace Bible College, teaching courses in jazz studies and music theory/composition.

Steve is frequently a faculty member at the Aquinas College Summer Jazz Camp and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.


  • M.M., composition, Western Michigan University
  • B.M., jazz studies, Western Michigan University
  • B.A., broadcast and cinematic arts, Central Michigan University

Professional Experience

Steve is co-leader of Mind's Eye, a jazz quartet with four compact discs to its credit (Angst for the Spoiler, Seasons, Lucky Nine, and Children of the Glacier).

Steve has performed with Mind's Eye at many venues and jazz festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival in Michigan.

Music from Seasons has been featured on the nationally syndicated public radio program, Jazz After Hours.

Steve is also pianist for many other small and large jazz ensembles and is featured on recordings with several of them. He has performed with many jazz greats, including:

  • Kenny Wheeler
  • Terry Lynne Carrington
  • Wes Anderson,
  • Marcus Printup
  • Michael Brecker
  • Randy Brecker
  • Bob Berg
  • Adam Nussbaum
  • Wycliffe Gordon
  • Ric Margitza
  • Bobby Shew
  • Maria Schneider
  • Marvin Stamm
  • Denis DiBlazio
  • Jon Faddis
  • Claudio Roditi
  • Johnny Bassett
  • Greg Abate
  • Walt Weiskopf
  • Phil Woods
  • Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
  • Grand Rapids Symphony


  • West Michigan Jazz Society's 2008 Jazz Musician of the Year
  • 1993 Downbeat Magazine award in Jazz Composition
  • Soloist awards from Elmhurst, Aquinas, Ohio State University and Notre Dame Jazz Festivals
  • Jazz Composition award from the Notre Dame and Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festivals
  • Honorable mention in the 1995 Billboard Magazine Songwriting Contest, Jazz Category


  • Mirage
  • Yin-Yang
  • Basement Alchemy (chosen as best release of 2000 by Lazaro Vega at WBLV-FM)
  • Two Worlds
  • Contemplating the Heavens (a companion to the poetry chapbook of the same title by Linda Nemec Foster)
  • Heartside Sketches (featuring a suite commissioned by MAJIC of Grand Rapids) which won the WYCE-FM "Jammie" Award for Best Jazz Album of 2010
  • The Shapeshifter, which includes “Deadman’s Hill,” for which Talaga won third place in the 2011 International Songwriting Competition (jazz category)
  • June Balloon

Most of his CDs are available on iTunes and at

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Steve Talaga

Phone Number616.395.7324

Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts 240 221 Columbia Avenue Holland, MI 49423-3607
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