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Steven Maxwell Porcaro (born September 2, 1957) is an American
keyboardist A keyboardist or keyboard player is a musician A musician is a person who Composer, composes, Conducting, conducts, or Performing arts, performs music. According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general Terminology, t ...
, singer,
songwriter A songwriter is a musician A musician is a person who Composer, composes, Conducting, conducts, or Performing arts, performs music. According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general Terminology, term used to designate ...

songwriter
and
film composer A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is th ...
known as one of the founding members of the
rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chemical composition and the way in w ...
band Band or BAND may refer to: Places *Bánd, a village in Hungary *Band, Iran, a village in Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran *Band, Mureș, a commune in Romania *Band-e Majid Khan, a village in Bukan County, West Azerbaijan Province, Ira ...
Toto and the last surviving Porcaro brother (after the deaths of
Jeff Jeff is a masculine name, often a short form (hypocorism A hypocorism ( or ; from Ancient Greek: (), from (), 'to call by pet names') or pet name is a name used to show affection for a person or object. It may be a diminutive form of ...
and
Mike Mike is a masculine given name. It is also encountered as an abbreviation or shorthand for Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who slike-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). Th ...
in 1992 and 2015, respectively), the songwriter of "
Human Nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British ...
" by
Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. Dubbed the " King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade car ...

Michael Jackson
, songs by Toto, and as the composer of the TV series ''
Justified Justified may refer to: * Justified (album), ''Justified'' (album), an album by Justin Timberlake * Justified (song), "Justified" (song), a single by Kacey Musgraves * Justified (TV series), ''Justified'' (TV series), an American television drama ...
''. He has won three Grammys, including Record of the Year for Rosanna and Album of the Year for Toto IV, and three nominations. Porcaro has appeared as a
session musician Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians hired to perform in recording sessionThe term studio recording means any recording A record, recording or records may refer to: An item or collection of data Computing ...
on recordings by
Yes Yes or YES may refer to: * An affirmative particle in the English language; see yes and no ''Yes'' and ''no'', or word pairs with similar words, are expressions of the affirmative and the negative, respectively, in several languages, includi ...
(on '' Union'' and '' Open Your Eyes'') and Jefferson Airplane (on Jefferson Airplane (album), their self-titled 1989 reunion album). He was also a member of Chris Squire's short-lived band, The Chris Squire Experiment, in 1992.


Early life

Porcaro is a native of Connecticut. Just like his brothers Jeff and Mike, Steve Porcaro started out as a drummer under the tutelage of his father Joe Porcaro, before taking up piano. In 1967, his father bought him an organ made by Rheem Manufacturing Company, Rheem, a company that specializes in heating and air conditioning. Soon after, he brought his father down to a Guitar Center to trade in the keyboard for a Farfisa with a Leslie 147 and preamp, which Porcaro called his "first real rig"


Career

Porcaro's touring career began playing with Gary Wright during his tour in 1977, supporting the latter's ''The Dream Weaver'' album. Porcaro and the other original members of Toto then played with Boz Scaggs before forming Toto. Porcaro wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of Toto's first six albums, with the exception of ''Isolation (Toto album), Isolation''. His two older brothers
Mike Mike is a masculine given name. It is also encountered as an abbreviation or shorthand for Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who slike-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). Th ...
and
Jeff Jeff is a masculine name, often a short form (hypocorism A hypocorism ( or ; from Ancient Greek: (), from (), 'to call by pet names') or pet name is a name used to show affection for a person or object. It may be a diminutive form of ...
were Toto's bassist and drummer as well as session musicians while his father Joe was a prolific session percussionist. Unlike most of his Toto bandmates, he generally did not contribute lead or even backing vocals; he considered himself a weak singer, and sang lead on two of his earlier compositions only because he felt that the vocal styles of his bandmates, with the exception of Joseph Williams (musician), Joseph Williams, were not appropriate for his songs. The song "Rosanna (song), Rosanna" was supposedly inspired by Porcaro's girlfriend at the time, Rosanna Arquette but this has since been denied by the song's writer, David Paich, and Arquette herself. He left Toto in 1987 after the ''Fahrenheit (Toto album), Fahrenheit'' album in order to pursue a more full-time songwriting and composing career. However, Porcaro continued working with Toto in various supporting capacities, assisting with keyboards, drum looping, synthesizers and arranging/composing. Porcaro composed the music for the song "
Human Nature Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental disposition A disposition is a quality of character, a habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British ...
" and produced the synthesizer for "The Girl Is Mine" from
Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. Dubbed the " King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade car ...

Michael Jackson
's album ''Thriller (Michael Jackson album), Thriller'', as well as playing synthesizer and keyboard on "Stranger in Moscow" from Jackson's ''HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, HIStory'' album. Steve Porcaro composes music for film and television, including the FX television show ''
Justified Justified may refer to: * Justified (album), ''Justified'' (album), an album by Justin Timberlake * Justified (song), "Justified" (song), a single by Kacey Musgraves * Justified (TV series), ''Justified'' (TV series), an American television drama ...
'', among others. Porcaro returned to play with Toto at live performances since 2010, when they decided to reform the band and tour in Europe to support Mike Porcaro. They scheduled further concerts in Europe. Porcaro performed on the band's 2015 studio album ''Toto XIV'', co-writing and singing lead on "The Little Things" and writing/singing lead on the Japan-only bonus cut, "Bend". When the band dissolved in 2019 and regrouped in 2020, Porcaro did not return.


''Someday/Somehow''

Steve released his first ever solo album on June 10, 2016. ''Someday/Somehow'' was co-written/produced by Michael Sherwood, former member of the band Lodgic. The album contains 13 songs, one of which reunites Steve with his late brothers Mike and Jeff Porcaro, from recordings made prior to their passing. Contributions are from Michael McDonald (singer), Michael McDonald, Jamie Kimmett, Michael Sherwood, Mabvuto Carpenter, Marc Bonilla, Steve Lukather, Lenny Castro, Jimmy Haun, Shannon Forrest, Jeff Porcaro and Mike Porcaro.


Equipment

Steve Porcaro played a huge variety of synthesizers on Toto albums. While David Paich handled piano duties, it was usually Steve's job to complement the music with creative synth sounds. He was known to use Yamaha GS1, Yamaha DX1, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha CS-80, Roland Jupiter-8, Minimoog, Oberheim Xpander, Polyfusion Modular, Dynacord Add-one and Sequential Circuits Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Prophet-5 synthesizers among others. The synth solo in the Toto song "Rosanna (song), Rosanna" is a noted example of his approach. In later years he gravitated towards working with software synthesizers. Onstage he is using two Yamaha keyboards (a Montage 8 and a Yamaha Motif XF7) to drive his MainStage (software), Apple MainStage-based virtual synth rig, which draws samples from Logic Pro, Logic's ES2 plug-in and Spitfire Audio libraries among others.


Personal life

He collaborated with his daughter Heather Porcaro on her debut album, ''The Heartstring Symphony'', released in 2009. Heather was featured in Paper (magazine), ''Paper'' magazine's "Most Beautiful People" issue in 2002.


References


External links


Official Homepage on Toto website
* *
TOTO-Hydrasolation — Le site Web des Fans de TOTO

Heather Porcaro official site – Steve Porcaro keyboards

Steve Porcaro
NAMM Oral History Program Interview (2006) * {{DEFAULTSORT:Porcaro, Steve 1957 births Living people American rock keyboardists American film score composers Songwriters from Connecticut Musicians from Hartford, Connecticut People from South Windsor, Connecticut American session musicians American people of Italian descent Toto (band) members 20th-century American male musicians 21st-century American keyboardists 21st-century American male musicians 20th-century American keyboardists American pop keyboardists The Chris Squire Experiment members Conspiracy (band) members