Winner of the prestigious 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Steven Banks is an ambassador for the classical saxophone, establishing himself as both a compelling and charismatic soloist, dedicated to showcasing the vast capabilities of the instrument, as well as an advocate for expanding its repertoire. As an artist with a commitment to rethinking and expanding the boundaries of classical music, Banks “has the potential to be one of the transformational artists of the twenty-first century.” (Seen and Heard International)

Steven is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education, performance, and newly commissioned works in the classical realm. He gave a talk at the TEDxNorthwesternU 2017 conference presenting his dynamic approach to overcoming institutionalized prejudices against women and people of color, and he has written and given lectures on the history of black classical composers.

An emerging composer, the music of Steven Banks showcases “a unique and ambitious blend of feelings and sounds” and portrays “a deep intimacy” and “a sense of vulnerability” (6ͼ Classical).


  • BM in Saxophone Performance, Minor in Jazz Studies, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2015)
  • MM in Saxophone Performance, Northwestern University Bienen School of Music (2017)

Teaching Experience

  • Ithaca College School of Music, 2019-2022
  • Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, 2017-2019