Music Executive Steven M. Gates of Harrison, NY, passed away on Saturday, October 20, 2012, while enjoying one of his many passions: running.
Through his profession, Steven helped shape the careers of numerous distinguished recording and performing artists including The Canadian Brass, Phil Coulter, the Five Browns, James Galway, Tom Harrell, Jens Lindemann, Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies, Aine Minogue, Max Roach, Pepe Romero, Don Sebesky, Andy Summers, and Joe Taylor.
Steven’s impact on these, and many other artists’ career paths was accompanied by a kindness, elegance and sense of honor that was deeply appreciated by those with whom he worked. Classical guitarist Pepe Romero observed that in whatever situation Steven found himself, he was always a gentleman.
As Vice President of Artists and Repertoire at RCA Victor, Steven’s artistic stewardship was responsible for a number of notable projects. He was Executive Producer for Don Sebesky’s Grammy Award Winning album, I Remember Bill, in 1999. And he was A&R Director for The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1927-1973), which received a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album in 2000.
Steven’s love of music began in his hometown of Penfield, NY. His talent for trumpet was nurtured by his teacher and early mentor, Ned Corman, who, with his wife, Linda, remained great friends to Steven and his family throughout his life.
Steven attended the Eastman School of Music and quickly established a career in the Greater Rochester area as a performer and businessman. This early phase came full circle when, after an impressive tenure in New York City at several major recording labels and artist management companies, he established The Rochester Indie Fest, an annual celebration of independent music in downtown Rochester.
Steven’s latest endeavor, Steven M. Gates Music, included the operation of the independent label Moonwatcher Music with his partner Joe Taylor. SMG Music also provided management and guidance for Steven’s clients, each of whom felt he was more family than manager. Steven was looking forward to an exciting 2013 and the release of new projects he was shepherding for Moonwatcher, including the children’s project Murf the Mole, presently under consideration for a 2012 Grammy nod.
A man of style, fair-mindedness and infectious wit, Steven is survived by his wife, Anne Bradner, and his two teenage sons, Brian and Connor. He also leaves behind his father Robert of Webster, NY; his sister Karen Cook (Ed) of Port Byron, NY; his brother Robert, Jr. (Gay Lynn) of Fall River, MA; and his brother James of Brooklyn, NY. Steven was pre-deceased by his beloved mother, Patricia Molloy Gates.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday evening, October 26, from 6-9 p.m. at All Saints Church at 300 Harrison Avenue in Harrison, NY.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 27, at 10:30am at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 168 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY, with a reception to follow. Friends are at work establishing a memorial fund to provide for Steven’s children’s’ education. (More information regarding the fund will be available at a later time.)