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  From the The Tallahassee Democrat 
by Jordan Culver

December 5, 2011




 
“The Flying Ace” Gives Modern Movie Goers a Taste of 1926 
With big-budget movies like “Inception” and Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series practically drowning moviegoers in lights and sounds, the merits of a silent movie from a bygone era often are forgotten.  On Sunday, the Museum of Florida History’s theater was packed with interested moviegoers and film buffs who came to see a piece of history – a 1926 film with a nearly unheard of all-black cast and crew.

The audience sat at full attention and watched a movie where the only sounds came from a live piano.  The piano was as interesting a character as the movie’s stars, Lawrence Criner and Kathryn Boyd.  Tallahassee musician Steve Sternberg used the piano to build tension and set every scene.  By the film’s intermission, the audience had as much praise for him as the movie.  “I had to take copious notes reviewing the film,” he said. “You have to pull all kinds of music to make this happen.  When mysterious things are happening you have to build the mood.”

The Museum of Florida History was showing “The Flying Ace,” a silent film made by Richard Norman and Norman Studios.  Sternberg’s music added flavor to the story of a pilot out to save his sweetheart from railroad thieves.  Sternberg said studying the film and preparing the music was strenuous and that contrary to popular belief, playing some ragtime music for an old movie just doesn’t cut it.  He’s focused on the music during the movie.  Sneaking a peek at the film while it’s going on or not paying attention to notes could spell disaster right in the middle of an important scene.  “You can’t do that,” he said about trying to imagine that movie.  “It’s all about the music.  In the old days piano players probably had all the music in their heads and they could watch the movie and probably spontaneously come up with some music during the movie.”  Sternberg smiled and said “I ain’t that good.”

Despite having to read dialog and without a single sound effect to add weight to the movie, the audience gasped with the story’s twists, laughed at the film’s many jokes and eagerly discussed what could happen next during the film’s intermission.

  From The Limelight music section of the Tallahassee Democrat
by Mary Leslie

July 4th, 2008


A Stern Look
 
Piano pro Steve Sternberg tickles the ivories with a mix of boogie-woogie, blues and ragtime from 6 to 9 pm Thursday at Ray's Steel City Saloon and Restaurant, 515 John Knox Rd. across from the Tallahassee Mall.  The vivaciously versatile Sternberg plays a polished contemporary stryle, a rollicking barrelhouse and a playful boogie-woogie.  In 2002 he won the Will McLean Foundations's Best New Florida Song Contest for "Apalachicola Blues."  He's the piano accompanist at Temple Israel, playing for the Friday night services, and he performs monthly at several local retirment homes.  The Steel City show is free.  Call 386-2984 or visit www.stevesternberg.com
  Steve's Boca Raton house concert
Alice Levine, free-lance journalist

June 2nd, 2008
 
 
An enthusiastic audience at Stonebridge Country Club greeted award-winning songwriter Steve Sternberg on Sunday June1st in this West Boca golf community, an area not usually known for boogie-woogie, ragtime and blues.  Wearing his signature red cap Steve played and sang a varied program (sometimes with a harmonica on a contraption resting on his shoulders), never failing to please the assembled group of boogie-woogie and ragtime fans.

Steve's running commentary highlighted the performance.  He had composed several of the numbers.  One lyrical song "Reverie" he attributed to the death of a sweetheart.  A humorous song, "Cat Named Fred," was conceived after a visit to Apalachicola, a place close to his heart, which, by the way, inspired his award-winning song, "Apalachicola Blues."

Some of his most rousing numbers were from the 20's and 30's.  "Dill Pickles Rag" and "Death Ray Boogie" in particular brought his audience back to the very beginnings of jazz.  Billy Joel's "Root Beer Rag" was a bravura piece requiring a top-notch technique.

Steve uses the term "neo-classical" to describe some of his own more lyrical and tender songs like "The Hidden Jewel," "Springtime," and "The Mockingbird."  His audience enjoyed songs where he used the talents of Natalie, the teenage daughter of the house-concert hosts.  She whistled with him in his "Whistlin' Blues."  And the audience became his rhythm section on some of the numbers.

Steve is a Floridian to the core.  Tallahassee is fortunate to have him.  With luck we'll hear him again in Boca.
  
From The Limelight music section of the Tallahassee Democrat  
By Kati Schardl

February 3, 2006

Might as Well Shout

Local piano man Steve Sternberg and musical friends Mimi Hearn and Sir Charles Atkins celebrate the release of Sternberg’s latest CD, Shout for Joy, Saturday at the United Church in Tallahassee. The disc showcases Sternberg’s dexterity as well as his versatility on seven cover tunes and six sparkling originals, including “Apalachicola Blues.” The latter is an award-winning ditty that captures the laid-back charm of the funky seaside village. Saturday’s performance will open with solo, duo and trio performances and concludes with a dance to the music of Steve Sternberg’s Blues Band. Admission includes non-alcoholic beverages, hors d’oeuvres and yummy desserts.
  
From the Ocala Star Banner
by Ferdie de Vega 

March 8, 2002 


Music straight from Florida’s soul at McLean festival

For his second-place winning song, "Apalachicola Blues," Sternberg wrote about the Panhandle town where he teaches piano lessons once a week.  "I was just taken by the laid-back and quaint flavor of this little fishing village," said Sternberg, who's been writing songs since 1970.  He also gives harmonica, sax, flute and clarinet lessons.  Sternberg said he based his "Apalachicola Blues on "Blues Thang," an original tune he teaches his harmonica students.  His girlfriend suggested he write a song about Apalachicola, and six months ago, he recorded the song at a Tallahassee studio.  Blues singer Charles Atkins sang lead vocals.  Sternberg will perfom at the festival for the first time this year.  "It's a great honor.  I entered the contest not really expecting to win.  There are so many great songwriters across the state," he said.  "When I got the call, I was blown away, just thrilled."