Late Composer’s Symphonic Rock Opus to Debut

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Steven J. Salazar wrote a lot of great music during his short life. An inspired group of musicians aim to bring one of his most ambitious pieces to life.

38 years ago, the world lost a 26 year old composer who was perhaps on the brink of becoming, if not a household name, at least a known entity, rather than the obscure figure he’s been since his untimely death from heart disease. Known as the leader of the late ‘70s L.A. punk/new wave band, The Skabbs, thanks to the 2012 release of the LP “Idle Threat”, Salazar was capable of much more than what was evident on that album.

On Thursday, April 6th, “The Ecology Suite” will debut at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel, CA. An orchestral ensemble accompanied by a rock band comprised of top notch L.A. session musicians and vocalists will perform the expansive work, finally doing justice to a composition that has languished for over 40 years. Coordinated by Mark Ludmer, with scoring assisted by Tommy Mars (of Frank Zappa fame), musical direction by violinist Lucas Lechowski and featuring noted vocalist, Alison Lewis.

Born in 1952 with major heart defects, Steve Salazar underwent multiple surgeries during his childhood. All the while his prognosis was never good and he lived under the shadow of impending death that could come at any time. Due to his physical disabilities, and because he was gifted with a whip smart intellect, he eschewed sports and turned his attention to reading, art, film and music. Piano lessons progressed to guitar lessons and an avid interest in music theory, eventually earning a degree in composition from USC. Steve took inspiration from many varied sources including film soundtracks, classical, jazz, pop and rock. He composed constantly, and made meticulous notes, writing in longhand full arrangements on staff paper, then sending each composition off to the copyright office.

Since his death in 1979, his family has taken great steps to help preserve and protect his legacy, especially his now 85 year old mother, Lillian. Assembling this great group of musicians has been no small undertaking, and the grand old venue will be a wonderful complement to the overall experience. This symphonic rock performance is a 3-movement tour de force combining classical and progressive rock elements, with dashes of jazz and pop. The audience is taken on a thought stirring musical journey which inspires the listener while questioning the fate of the earth, and mankind itself.

This is a must see one time only event which will hopefully inspire future performances of Salazar’s many unheard works.

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Michael Enzor
Steven J Salazar's Ecology Suite
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since: 02/2017
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