About Steve KerinBorn and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, the heart of Cajun Country, Steve Kerin discovered the piano at the age of four and, by time he was a teenager, knew that music would be his life.
While studying for his Masters Degree in classical piano at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Steve also steeped himself in the music of New Orleans piano greats like Professor Longhair, James Booker, and Dr. John. Though it wasn't exactly "roll over Beethoven," the classically trained Kerin was tapping a deep love for the rhythms of his Louisiana roots. A busy presence in the Lafayette music community, Steve played in numerous bands, covering styles from classic New Orleans to classic rock.
Shortly after playing the 2005 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with Harry Hypolite, guitarist for the late Zydeco great Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band, he got the news of Harry's tragic death in a car accident. But he came away with a lasting lesson. "Harry was a huge influence on me." says Steve. "Before we left for the road, he gave me a big speech about always playing my best. I carry a bit of Harry with me in my heart every time I go on stage."
After a long road trip camping and gigging across the country, Steve and his wife, Jane-Clair, decided to settle in Portland, Oregon, where he was soon teaching music and and playing in a band. He quickly developed a solid reputation as a session and side player, and has now been nominated twice for keyboardist of the year by the Cascade Blues Association, along with his group, Atomic Gumbo, as best new band.
Kerin is a true student of the New Orleans style - his playing complex and dense, but also joyous and danceable. And his warm singing voice is suffused with an authentic New Orleans growl. He's the real Louisiana deal, and the Northwest is richer for it.
Steve's schedule stays busy between gigging and touring with some of the Northwest's finest artists and his own projects, Atomic Gumbo and Berthaline & the Love Brigade. In the past year he's been on the road with Curtis Salgado, Miriams Well, and the Too Loose Cajun Band, and shared the stage with the likes of Trombone Shorty, The Blue Runners, Marcia Ball, and David Vest.
Look for new recordings of Steve Kerin's music in 2011 and 2012.