Bassist. Steven Novosel, Jr. was born in 1940 in Farrell, Pennsylvania.
Began playing trumpet and studied in New York City for three years before joining the U.S. Army band as a trumpeter (1961-1964). He attended the Naval School of Music for six months. A shortage of available bass players spurred his change of instruments. While stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Novosel studied bass with Thomas Martin. He replaced Walter Booker in the JFK Quintet.
Novosel left the service and became a full-time bassist, working in the trio of Bobby Timmons. By 1966 was active playing in Washington and New York. He was a member of Trio ESP with pianist Gene Rush and drummer Jimmy Hopps, playing weekly with flutist/clarinetist Father Jack Herrera at Luther Place Memorial Church and recording one album. Hopps recommended him to Roland Kirk, and Novosel worked with Kirk for the next three years, including a European tour in October 1967. He also toured England in June 1969 with Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell, resulting in two albums. Around this time he recorded with flutist Lloyd McNeill.
For more than three decades, Novosel was saxophonist Andrew White’s bassist of choice, appearing on virtually all of White’s many albums. There were extended tenures in the bands of Milt Jackson, Red Norvo and Tal Farlow, Bob Wilber and Kenny Davern, and Al Grey. He also frequently worked with Shirley Horn between 1995 and 2001.
Novosel has been consistently in demand in the Washington area. He has led his own groups, and as a member of the house bands at Blues Alley and Cates, accompanied many national and international artists visiting DC. He also appeared regularly at the Manassas Jazz Festival.
He has taught bass at the University of the District of Columbia as well as at American University and Washington Conservatory of Music.
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