A native of Tokyo, Japan, Steve Whipple is a bassist based in Brooklyn, NY. When he’s not freelancing in the New York scene, he tours with Postmodern Jukebox, plays with NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi in her trio, and with his own project, Double Bass Double Voice. He also performs with the iconic NYC band The Xylopholks as Pinky, the pink gorilla. Before moving to New York, he was visiting professor and department chair of the bass program at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Quito, Ecuador.
Steve moved to Michigan in 1999 to attend Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied music composition. In 2005, he graduated Summa Cum Laude as salutatorian with Distinguished Honors from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz and Studio Music. He quickly became one of the first call bassists in the area, performing extensively in the local scene.
In 2008, Steve accepted a one-year position as visiting professor and department chair of the bass program at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Quito, Ecuador.
The following year, he moved to New York City to pursue a career as a freelance musician. Steve has become highly in demand in the New York scene, sharing the stage with the likes of Gregory Porter, Lady Gaga, Donny McCaslin, JD Allen, Tim Warfield, Donald Harrison, Lew Tabackin, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Bernard Perdie. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio, the Festival International de Jazz de Québec with Nancy Harms, the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival with Matt Parker Trio, and at Rifflandia with the Xylopholks.
Steve has been a part of The Xylopholks, the iconic New York band, as Pinky, the pink gorilla, since 2012. The band has performed in the subways of New York, for then mayor Bloomberg at Lincoln Center, and at Town Hall with Vince Giordarno's Nighthawks. The band has gone on tour to Japan three times to play at kindergartens, schools, and community centers after the Tohoku Earthquate and Tsunami of 2011.
In 2017, Steve joined the touring cast of Postmodern Jukebox. In 2017 alone, he has played over 50 shows in 15 different countries, and has shared the stage with the stars of PMJ, including Scott Bradley, Haley Rinehart, Casey Abrams, Aubrey Logan, Lavance Colley, Ariana Savalis, Rayvon Owen, Sara Niemietz, Von Smith, Cristina Gatti, Blake Lewis, Brielle Von Hugel, Robyn Adelle Anderson, Chloe Feoranzo, Vonzell Solomon, Jennie Lena, Annie Goodchild, Sarah Reich, and Alex MacDonald.
In the Jewish music scene, he has toured with the Semer ensemble, which includes Alan Bern (Brave Old World), Lorin Skamberg (The Klezmatics), Sasha Lurje, Daniel Kahn (the Painted Bird), Fabian Schnedler, Mark “Stempenyuk“ Kovnatskiy, and Paul Brody.
He has also worked in the New York comedy/cabaret scene, sharing the stage with Bridget Everett and Murray Hill, and as house bassist at Duane Park, Manhattan's premier burlesque club.
His most recent project is Double Bass Double Voice, in partnership with vocalists Nancy Harms and Emily Braden, which released it’s first album in early 2017 to critical acclaim, including a 4.5 star review from Downbeat Magazine.