Steven Husted & The Low End Initiative
Ridgewood, NY - Jazz / Fusion/ Experimental
Angel In The Flowers
Steven Husted is no newbie to the music scene, his love affair with music began at the tender age of six, and after years of hard work and training (with a few jazz greats like Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins, and Vince Wallace...to drop a few names) matured into the tasty tunes of The Low End Initiative. Steven, along with some of New Yorks best musicians, cooks up a savory blend of traditional jazz with a medley of modern and classic elements to create his unique sound, destined to nestle comfortably in your record collection (or iPod) among the greats.
We had the opportunity to talk with Steven, and hear more about his musical journey.
Steven, I hear you were six years old when you started playing music, was it something your parents introduced you to, or was it something you were naturally drawn to that they encouraged?
It was something I just knew I wanted to do. When I was like four of five my Mom asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said something like,"Play for the Yankees." She asked me what I would do if I couldn't play baseball and I said I wanted to join Led Zeppelin!
About your band, how did you come up with the name The Low End Initiative?
The name came to me while reading about all the economic bailouts and such. I remember noticing something about an "initiative" that would help the economy. I thought...I play bass...low end....initiative seemed to just flow after that.
You've worked with some jazz greats like Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins, and Vince Wallace, what would you say you have learned from them? Do you have any funny or interesting stories to share about the times you've spent with them?
Wow...where to start...I learned just about everything about being a professional musician (good and bad) from those three guys. Billy gave me an understanding of time and feel, he was the swinging-est cat I ever knew and he was a machine with tempos. Kenny gave me my sense of honor and conduct as a professional, he taught me that what I did was an art form, not just some bubble gum stuff, but legit art. Vince is the cat I got most of my bebop concept from, that guys is like the west coast Sonny Stitt, beautiful player and person. As far as stories about them, the funniest one I can remember was one year, Billy Higgins and I were both teaching at the Stanford Jazz workshop, it was summer and really hot. I was walking back to the dorms (where they put up the non famous cats) and I had a bandanna in my back pocket. Billy was in the car going back to his hotel and when he saw me wipe my brow and put the rag back in my pocket he yelled, "Yo, we ain't Watts!" Then he flashed a huge smile! I laughed my back side off...he was such a sweet cat!
I read in your bio that you moved to San Francisco when you were 15 to study jazz, where did you study?
Well, I didn't move there specifically to study jazz, but San Francisco and the Bay Area are such fertile grounds for the arts, I quickly found jazz. I studied jazz in High School at Galileo High, then at College of San Mateo, and ended up at UCLA. I think I really learned the most from doing gigs and hanging with other musicians.
So, from Connecticut to California, and back to New York, you've traveled quite a bit in your career, any favorite memories from your travels?
My fondest would have to be just a few years ago, playing on a cruise ship with a jazz trio, [that's where] I met my wife! I think that's the best one for sure!
What do you do when you're not playing music, any other hobbies?
When I'm not playing, I look for gigs! I do like to cook, and I read a bit too...although I haven't had much time for either lately.
What instruments do you play? Are you partial to a particular brand for said instruments?
My main instrument is the bass guitar, I have 2 right now. My main axe is an MTD Kingston 5 string fretless, love that bass. I also have an '85 Japanese re-issue of a '75 fender J-bass (fretted) I play them both through a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 head with 2X10 neodymium cab.
Any recent accomplishments for your band you'd like to brag about? Upcoming shows?
Well these days the fact I have a band is cause for bragging! We are looking forward to going back into the recording studio to do our second cd. It's always exciting working out the new material. We have a bunch of upcoming shows and I get excited about all of them, I just live to play!