An Evening With Steve Azar 11/15/18
Music & Culture Ambassador of Mississippi, Steve Azar is a modern day Renaissance man, hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer and philanthropist. Steve likes to call his own breed of music “Delta Soul,” a mixture of country, rock and blues.
His debut album Waitin’ On Joe was released in 2001. The title track went to #1 on CMT and featured Academy award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. From the same album the hit single “I Don’t Have To Be Me, Til Monday” received three Million-Air awards from BMI and is one of the top five most played songs of the past decade on country radio. Turn on the radio today, and you’ll likely hear it.
Taylor Swift told People Magazine in 2010 that her favorite song of the year was Steve Azar’s “Sunshine.” Slide On Over Here, featuring the hit single “Sunshine,” was spotlighted in Oprah’s O Magazine in her Oprah’s Favorite Things edition in 2011. “Sunshine” was also featured in US Weekly Magazine in June 2012 as one of the most popular celebrity wedding songs.
Steve has written, and recorded songs for film and has been the music supervisor for a number of movies. “Doin’ It Right” (Delta Mix) off of the latest release Delta Soul Volume One, was the feature track for Sony Pictures 2013 movie Here Comes The Boom starring Kevin James and Salma Hayek. As a songwriter, Reba McEntire among many others has cut his songs.
In 2007, Azar was personally chosen by Bob Seger to perform 46 shows on what has been rated the #1 Tour in America by Pollstar Magazine.
An accomplished golfer, Steve has been ranked one of the top five musicians that play golf by Golf Digest Magazine numerous times. He is a frequent guest at charity golf tournaments across the country. In 2006, Steve and his wife Gwen started the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation, and annually host the Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event. Since its inception, the foundation has channeled over $700,000 to many worthwhile causes in the Delta and beyond. Steve has additionally raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable causes through the auctioning of songs. These songs are written for the highest bidder’s charity of choice.
Steve has been honored with “Steve Azar day” in the states of Mississippi (on March 13th) and South Dakota (on August 10th). He is the co-founder of Ride Recordsand in 2013 co-founded the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival, dubbed “A Southern Gem” by the American Blues Scene magazine and included in Acoustic Guitar magazine’s 2014 Roadside Americana: 50 States 50 Must-Attend Events. With a keen interest in mentorship and giving back to the Delta, Steve enjoys being the artist in residence at the Delta Music Institute, part of Delta State University.
Steve wrote “Fly”, the official song for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail. His performance at the opening ceremonies reached an audience of one billion households. “Fly” was also used as the feature song for Sony Pictures movie: Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 starring actor Kevin James.
In late 2015 Steve became the spokesperson for Certified AG Business Program and his song, “The American Farmer”, became the official anthem for the program. He started a weekly cooking segment on ThreadMB, an e-zine that combines Mom Bloggers and Celebrities sharing their inspiring charitable endeavors. The blog reaches millions of readers each month and the segment allowed Steve to have fun in the kitchen while promoting the farm to fork lifestyle.
Governor Paul R. LePage has requested that all the Governors in the United States use Steve’s song, “The Sky is Falling,” as a way to spread awareness about the serious issue of human trafficking in America.
In April of 2016, Steve became the first artist to record a full-length studio album at the legendary Mississippi landmark, Club Ebony. A long time in the making, and his first record in 5 years, Steve cut 13 new original tracks. The club, now belonging to the BB King Museum, was turned into a recording studio capturing the rich history and vibe of the room and in turn inspiring incredible performances on the record. The album was made with the participation of The Kings Men, a group of musicians who backed BB King, Elvis Presley, and other musical kings. The combination of Steve’s Delta songwriting approach and the band’s musical background has created a unique and soulful sound that audiences will be hearing in the later part of 2017.
Steve Azar & The Kings Men made their live debut headlining 2016’s BB King Homecoming Festival. The band headlined both the Mississippi Night At The GRAMMY’s in Los Angeles during February 2017 and the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration in Jackson in December of 2017. The new record is accompanied by a full-length feature documentary combining the making of the record with the musical trajectory of The Kings Men and the Mississippi Delta’s important musical influence on the world music scene. The film, titled Something In The Water, is slated for release in the last quarter of 2017.
Steve is an in-demand keynote speaker. His speeches highlight the importance of giving back and that it is never too soon to start. From the sports world to the world of entertainment, Steve has had success and has also had his share of trials and tribulations; his speeches are full of the lessons learned.
In 2007 Steve narrated “Second Crossing: The Making of The Mississippi Bridge” for Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). In 2016 his voice was used for a series of 12 short documentaries celebrating MDOT’s 100th Anniversary.
2017 marks the bicentennial of the state of Mississippi. Steve has been appointed Music & Culture Ambassador of Mississippi and is working closely with the State of Mississippi in his official role. This position enables him to continue making a positive impact on the State’s tourism and economy. His Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event and Mighty Mississippi Music Festival add millions in economic impact to the state every year. As ambassador Steve is making an even larger impact. Steve is the recipient of the 2018 prestigious Mississippi Arts Commission “Governor’s Choice Award”.