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Years Active: 1977–present

Steve Tibbetts is a Minneapolis-based American guitarist known for an original approach to both composing and sound-forming. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1954. His first two records were created when he was in college.

The second, Yr, although self-published, gained a degree of notice, especially from fans of the electric guitar. That record featured many overdubs, on one track as many as 50 overdubs creating a unique soundscape.

Like some other artists, such as Brian Eno, Steve Tibbetts views the recording studio as a tool for creating sounds and often works and reworks his sounds, incorporating found-sound into finished musical tracks (such as the footsteps in the track "Running" found on Safe Journey, or the chanting of Nepalese villagers found on the last tracks of Big Map Idea).

The first record Tibbetts created for a major label was Northern Song, for ECM Records in 1982. This was an attempt to fit Tibbetts music into Manfred Eicher's style of very rapid recording. Usually ECM albums are recorded in just two days.

However, Northern Song received scathing reviews. Perhaps as a result, Tibbetts went back to his previous method of recording very slowly over a period of months (or longer). His subsequent records gained better reviews and, somewhat unusually for ECM records, were not produced by Manfred Eicher.

Steve Tibbetts plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as the kalimba. His musical compositions span several genres and styles, perhaps most notably jazz, rock, fusion, new age, and world music. Often more than one genre or style is found in a single composition.

He released five albums in the 1980s, three in the 1990s, and, as of this writing, two in the 2000s. He has also collaborated with other artists including Norwegian hardingfele player Knut Hamre and Tibetan nun Choying Drolma.

Steve's longtime collaborator, percussionist Marc Anderson, has appeared on all the recordings in the discography except the inaugural "Steve Tibbetts" album.Steve Tibbetts makes liberal use of loops in his work, and a collection of those loops and sound textures can be purchased on a CD-Rom.

Steve Tibbetts essentially stopped doing live performances in the mid-1980s. Starting in the late 1980s he travelled extensively in Nepal, which is where he met Choying Drolma, a Tibbetan Buddhist nun.

Their first collaboration (Cho) was not intended as a commercial record but it was released and gained some positive notice. The second project (Selwa) was a far more carefully considered musical collaboration and it received some very positive reviews as an example of a successful meeting of two very different musical traditions.


Steve Tibbetts performs progressive rock, jazz fusion music and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, or other music performances. The estimated booking fee range to book Steve Tibbetts for your event, Please Contact. Steve Tibbetts has more than 9.7K listeners worldwide and really knows how to entertain your audience. Similar artists are  Terje Rypdal, John Abercrombie, John Surman, Bill Frisell, Stephan Micus, Brand X, Jack DeJohnette, David Torn, Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin . Contact AAE Music agency for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Steve Tibbetts for an upcoming event.

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