Paul Steinbeck

Paul Steinbeck

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Graduate Studies
PhD, Columbia University
BA, University of Chicago
research interests:
  • Improvisation
  • Intermedia
  • The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)
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    contact info:

    office hours:

    • By appointment

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
      CB 1032
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Paul Steinbeck’s research focuses on improvisation, intermedia, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He has written extensively on the Art Ensemble of Chicago—the AACM’s flagship group—and on Fred Anderson, an original AACM member. Steinbeck is also a bassist, composer, and improviser.​

    Paul Steinbeck is an associate professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on improvisation, intermedia, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). With Fred Anderson, he is co-author of Exercises for the Creative Musician (2010), a method book for improvisers. Steinbeck’s latest book, Message to Our Folks, examines the history and performances of the Art Ensemble, one of the most influential groups in jazz and experimental music. Message to Our Folks is available in English from the University of Chicago Press, in Italian from Edizioni Quodlibet, and in French from the Presses Universitaires du Midi (PUM). His next book, Sound Experiments: The Music of the AACM, is in production at the University of Chicago Press.

    Steinbeck holds degrees from Columbia University (PhD) and the University of Chicago (BA). He is also a bassist, composer, and improviser. He studied bass with Harrison Bankhead and composition with Ari Brown. His compositions and improvisations are documented on thirteen recordings. He performs with a number of ensembles, including the experimental trio Low End Theory, co-led with former AACM president Mwata Bowden.