Carol Steffens, originally from Sault Ste. Marie, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, grew up in a family who loved to play and listen to music, especially jazz music. The love of the art form over the years has been a driving force for her to play, compose, teach and direct. Her love of jazz has taken her to Chicago, New York and other major cities to study with some of the finest musician our country has to offer. Her most current, major project involves leading the Wasatch Jazz Project Big Band. Carol says that leading and playing in the Wasatch Jazz Project, is not only musically challenging in many aspects, but also is so much fun!! The band is comprised of exceptionally talented, humorous and dedicated musicians from all walks of life, who know how to create a great sounding band and who also love the art form. Aside from the big band, her jazz quintet has produced three CDs, two of which are her own compositions. Other professional accomplishments include, her quartet chosen to participate in the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Utah Arts Festival, Park City Arts Festival in 2003, chosen to play for the International Olympic Committee and German dignitaries during the 2002 Winter Olympics and has been involved in organizing numerous local jazz events. She has also developed jazz education programs for inner city, elementary age students, organized and ran weekly jazz jam sessions in Salt Lake, helped organize the Jazz Downtown Night events and many other numerous projects that involve community and jazz music. Carol says that the reason for doing these musical endeavors is just not to play music. It's a whole lot more than that. It's about the challenges of studying music, the discipline you gain from it and of course, most importantly of all, the great people, musicians and non musicians alike, that you meet along the way and the lasting friendships gained from it. It’s basically, a labor of love.