Steve has been a musician since he was 8 months old.  His musicianship must be hereditary, because his father, John McCarvel, Jr., was a professional organist for 30 years.  Beginning at age 6, Steve taught himself to play the keyboard.  At 10, he started playing alto sax and within 6 months had switched to tenor.  He attended Desert Sky Middle School under the direction of Bruce Bjorna where he discovered his love for jazz music.  He then went to Deer Valley High School where he was taught by Joseph Koski, Scott Watkins, and David Duarté. In 1999, Steve began studying classical sax with Jim Freda.  In 2001, he decided to concentrate on jazz and began studying with Tony Vacca.   Steve has been very active in Glendale Community College's jazz program where he played first tenor in the student big band for 4 years under the direction of Dave Schmidt.  He is also an alumnus of the Young Sounds of Arizona under the direction of Barb Catlin.  In 2006, Steve graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies.  Currently, he plays with the GCC night band, Extreme Decibel Big Band, Robert Street Band, and various ensembles throughout the valley.  Steve is constantly seeking more knowledge and hopes to bring something unique to the Arizona music community.

Performed With:

  • Brubeck Brothers

  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Horns

  • Wayne Bergeron

  • Chris Walden

  • Dave Pietro

  • Bob McChesney

  • Mike Crotty

  • Jon Faddis

  • Wycliffe Gordon

  • George Graham

  • Ingrid Jensen

  • Pete Magadini

  • Andy Martin

  • Dennis Rowland

  • Bobby Shew

  • Ernie Watts

  • Mike Vax

As a Leader:

  • Steve McCarvel Quartet (2002-Present) AVAILABLE FOR ALL OCCASIONS

  • Ultimate Groove (2006-2007)

As a Sideman:

  • Extreme Decibel Big Band  (2004-Present)

  • Brockway  (2005-2006)

  • Connecting Points Church Worship Team (2004) 

  • Metacognition (Jazz Quartet) (2003-2004)   

  • GCC Day Big Band (2002-2006)

  • GCC Night Big Band (2006-Present)

  • GCC Jazz Combo  (2002-2008)


  • 1st place Jazz Combo (CC division) Reno Jazz Festival (2006)

  • Outstanding Instrumentalist   Reno Jazz Festival (2005)

  • Outstanding Soloist in Big Band Category  Deer Valley Jazz Fest (2005)

  • Outstanding Soloist in Combo Category  Deer Valley Jazz Fest (2005)

  • Outstanding Instrumentalist   Reno Jazz Festival (2004)

  • 1st Place Tenor Sax               Regional Festival  (2002)

  • Louis B. Armstrong Award,  Deer Valley High School  (2002)

  • Outstanding Soloist Award,  NAU Jazz Festival 2002

  • Instrumentalist of the Year,   Deer Valley High School  (2002)

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