Steve Porcaro (right) at Toto's 35th Anniversary Tour in Örebro, Sweden July 3, 2013
|Birth name||Steven Maxwell Porcaro|
|Born||2 September 1957|
|Origin||Hartford, Connecticut, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Keyboardist, composer, programmer|
|Associated acts||Toto, Michael Jackson, Clair Marlo|
Steven Maxwell "Steve" Porcaro (born September 2, 1957, Hartford, Connecticut) is an American keyboardist, composer and original member of the rock band Toto. He is also the sole surviving Porcaro brother with his brothers Jeff and Mike having died in 1992 and 2015 respectively.
Porcaro's touring career began playing with Gary Wright during his tour in 1977, supporting the latter's The Dream Weaver album. Porcaro and the other original members of Toto then played with Boz Scaggs before forming Toto.
Porcaro wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of Toto's first six albums, with the exception of Isolation. His two older brothers Mike and Jeff were Toto's bassist and drummer as well as session musicians while his father Joe is a prolific session percussionist.
Unlike most of his Toto bandmates, he generally did not contribute lead or even backing vocals; he considered himself a weak singer, and sang lead on two of his earlier compositions only because he felt that the vocal styles of his bandmates, with the exception of Joseph Williams, were not appropriate for his songs. He left Toto in 1987 after the Fahrenheit album in order to pursue a more full-time songwriting and composing career. However, Porcaro continued working with Toto in various supporting capacities, assisting with keyboards, drum looping, synthesizers and arranging/composing.
Porcaro composed the music for the song "Human Nature" and produced the synthesizer for "The Girl Is Mine" from Michael Jackson's album Thriller as well as playing synthesizer and keyboard on "Stranger In Moscow" from Jackson's HIStory album
He has also done session musician work for many other acts, including Yes (on Union and Open Your Eyes) and Jefferson Airplane (on their self-titled 1989 reunion album). He was also a member of Chris Squire's short lived band, The Chris Squire Experiment, in 1992.
He collaborated with his daughter Heather Porcaro on her debut album, The Heartstring Symphony, released in 2009.
Porcaro returned to play with Toto at live performances since 2010, when they decided to reform the band and tour in Europe to support Mike Porcaro. They scheduled further concerts in Europe. Porcaro performed on the band's 2015 studio album Toto XIV, co-writing and singing lead on 'The Little Things' and writing/singing lead on the Japan-only bonus cut, "Bend."
Steve released his first ever solo album on 10 June 2016. Someday/Somehow was co/written/produced by Michael Sherwood, former member of the band Lodgic.
The album contains 13 songs, one of which reunites Steve with his late brothers Mike and Jeff Porcaro, from recordings made prior to their passing.
With contributions from Michael McDonald, Jamie Kimmett, Michael Sherwood, Mabvuto Carpenter, Marc Bonilla, Steve Lukather, Lenny Castro, Shannon Forrest, Jeff Porcaro and Mike Porcaro; Someday/Somehow opened at #1 on Amazon Japan's Rock and Pop charts, where it remained for two weeks.
Steve Porcaro played a huge variety of synthesizers on Toto albums. While David Paich handled piano duties, it was usually Steve's job to complement the music with creative synth sounds. He was known to use Yamaha GS1, Yamaha DX1, Yamaha CS80, Roland Jupiter-8, Minimoog, Oberheim Xpander, Polyfusion Modular, Dynacord Add One and Sequential Circuits Prophet synthesizers among others. The synth solo in the Toto song Rosanna is a noted example of his approach.
Nowadays he prefers working with software synthesizers. Onstage he is using two Yamaha Motifs to drive his Apple Mainstage based virtual synth rig.
- Official website
- Official Homepage on Toto website
- (French) TOTO-Hydrasolation — Le site Web des Fans de TOTO
- Heather Porcaro official site - Steve Porcaro keyboards
- Steve Porcaro NAMM Oral History Program Interview (2006)