August 29, 2011

Music Monday

I thought you might enjoy another video of my talented nephew, Steve Jackson. He was invited to play for Matthew Darren Nuss and Samantha Valdiva, as they recorded Adele's "Turning Tables."

I asked Steve a little bit about how he met Matthew (who was on American Idol last season) and how he came to be asked to be a part of this recording. Here's a bit of that conversation:

Me: So, how cool is this?! How did you get involved in this gig?

Steve: I'm interning at Tree Hill Media* in Escondido, California, working for Jeff McCullough. Matthew Nuss is one of his clients and they have been really good friends for a while. Jeff is an extremely talented producer, engineer, mixer, and song arranger. So, through working for him I met Matthew and he wanted me to play for his track.

Me: Was this the first time you played in a recording studio?

Steve: No, I have actually recorded with Jeff twice before. Several months ago we recorded a Demo EP Album which was just 5 instrumental songs. That was a lot of fun and through that opportunity I was able to see a lot of how Jeff runs his business. We stayed connected and he said if I showed up at the studio he would mentor and teach me about producing and the music business. I couldn't pass up this opportunity so I've been interning since the beginning of the summer!

Me: How long have you been playing the piano?

Steve: I've been playing piano since I was 4. I was classically trained until I was 17 when I stopped taking lessons and started writing my own stuff.

Me: Do you enjoy writing your own compositions or do you prefer playing covers?

Steve: It depends on my mood. I have to be in a certain mood to do some writing. Something has to provoke emotion to get me to write. It's kinda hard to write without any inspiration. Haha. So, yeah it depends on the mood. But I love doing covers of stuff.

Me: Any chance you'll do more work with Matthew?

Steve: Maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to play on some more of Matt's work. I'll keep you posted on that though.

Me: I won't ask the cliche, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" However, I have a paperweight on my desk with a thought-provoking question that I'd like to ask instead. It says, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Steve: That's a great question. It's cool because I haven't asked myself as far as "what if I fail with music?" I've had the great support of family and friends, so I don't even have to question or second guess myself when it comes to music. But I do have a vision for exactly what I want to do. I want to produce music (including my own) and I would also love to perform for people. I've always enjoyed entertaining people and what better way to entertain people than with music. So, yeah that is my goal!

Me: I know we're family, but I have to tell you that I am constantly amazed by your talent and I'm very proud of you. Listening to you play when we've visited (both at your house and in a hospital waiting area), as well as at the reunion in Depoe Bay, just makes my heart sing. I wish you all the best and hope to see you on stage someday!

Steve: Thanks so much for everything and your support (: Love you!!

You can purchase the track on iTunes here.

*Website is Music Producer For Hire.

Go here to listen to Steve perform a very special cover for my birthday last year.


  1. Your nephew is very talented indeed. I'm surprised that the recording studio just looks like a living room to me.

  2. How cool is that! I have to say that when you posted his other video I had to show it to everyone that came near my computer for about a month... :)

  3. Beautiful! Your nephew has some serious talent, and I hope it takes him far!

  4. Loved seeing and hearing Steve again! I'm rejoicing with you, Les! :)

  5. Thanks everyone. Steve has a gig on Sunday, September 11th at the Old California Coffee House in San Marcos, CA from 3-5. Here's a message from his Facebook page:

    I'll be playing piano for a two hour set during the Sunday Music and Art Matinee sponsored by the San Marcos Art Council. I'll be playing a good mix of covers, my own stuff, and some improvisation on some tunes. Come in and enjoy your Sunday afternoon with some food, drinks & music! Hope to see you all there. Contact me if you need more details.

    Me again. I wish I lived closer so I could go!

    Kathy - I would have to agree on both counts. I'll have to ask Steve about that.

    Kailana - Pretty cool, isn't it?! Thanks for sharing the video with your friends.

    Megan - I hope so, too.

    Joy - Thanks! I love to listen to him play via video and in person.

  6. Beautiful!! I love this song. This is a beautiful rendition and the piano is magnificent ,

  7. Maudeen, so nice to see your comment! I love this song, too. Thanks for the email, too. You're in for a treat!


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