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Steve Cole

Clinical Faculty - Music Business, Saxophone

Music, Film & Creative Enterprise

  • Education
  • B.A. Economics, Northwestern University
    M.B.A. Marketing & Business Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
    Ed.D. Organization Development, University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business

  • Expertise
  • Music Business, Recording Arts, Popular Music, Saxophone

Steve Cole is Head of Music Industry Studies and Recording Arts at the University of St. Thomas. He has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Benaroya Symphony Hall, Bass Performance Hall, Chicago Symphony Center and has been a featured performer at the JVC, Playboy and Blue Note Jazz festivals, as well as performing arts centers and jazz clubs around the world.

Before focusing on his music career, Dr. Cole worked in consulting and strategy development with Bain & Company and Baxter International, and served as Director of Finance and Administration for the Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago, IL. In addition, he is a former two term Governor of the Middle West chapter of the Recording Academy.

Dr. Cole's career as a recording artist began in 1998 when he was signed to Atlantic Records. On his nine subsequent releases (Atlantic, Warner Brothers, EMI/Blue Note, Mack Avenue/Artistry) he has posted multiple national radio hits, millions of streams, sold hundreds of thousands of albums and has been featured in numerous publications including Alternative Press, Jazz Times, Radio & Records and Billboard magazine.  

In addition to his work as solo artist, Steve has performed/recorded, with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Jim Peterik, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut and KMFDM. He has been a featured soloist with the City of Prague Orchestra and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Before joining the faculty of the University of St. Thomas, he held the position of Assistant Professor of Arts, Entertainment, & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago where he was director of the Music Business program. He is currently under contract as an artist with the Mack Avenue/Artistry record label, and as a writer with Universal Music Publishing.  

Dr. Cole’s research in Organization Development explores how arts-based interventions build individual and organizational capacity for creativity, agility, and dynamic capability.