Stephen James Taylor has a unique musical identity. His style represents a blend of classical, rock, blues, gospel, world music, and avante garde. His past projects include scoring the documentary Tom Bradley: Bridging the Divide (2015), Maya Angelou-And Still I Rise (2015), Southside With You (2015), People Are The Sky, (2015), Marvel’s TV Series The Black Panther, music for theme parks such as Disney World and The Red Sea Astrarium, Universal’s The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, Disney’s Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas (for which he won Best Original Score at the 2004 DVDX Awards), Teachers Pet, a Disney animated feature with wide theatrical release in 2003, and many of Charles Burnett’s films including To Sleep With Anger and the blues documentary, Warming By the Devil’s Fire produced by Martin Scorsese. He has composed scores for many of Robert Townsend’s films such as Of Boys and Men (2008) and Holiday Heart (2000). In 2001 he wrote underscore and produced some of the songs for Clark Johnson’s Boycott (HBO films).
In 1996 he was commissioned to write an orchestral suite for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics and was one of the conductors of the Atlanta Symphony for that occasion. In 1993, Stephen received an Emmy nomination for an R&B song he wrote for I’ll Fly Away as well as a Daytime Emmy nomination for his classical orchestral score for an episode of the animated series, The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa. Other Emmy nominations have been for the PBS movie Brother Future (1991), and Raw Toonage an animated series for Disney. In 1999 and 2000 he has received Annie nominations for his work on Disney’s Mickey Mouseworks. He has also done string arrangements for James Taylor and for Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
After graduating from Stanford University in 1976 with a B.A. in music, he studied composition for four years with Henri Lazarof, professor of music at UCLA. He has studied microtonality with Erv Wilson since 1989 with whom he has developed a new 810 key microtonal keyboard. Taylor’s second chamber symphony was commissioned and premiered by the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra in 1983. The Detroit Symphony later performed it in 1990. His various chamber works have been performed throughout the country.
His ongoing projects the recent release of his solo trans-tonal pop album entitled Embrace It All (available on itunes). A filmmaker as well, he has also completed two short films of his own, the award winning documentary, Surfing The Sonic Sky, and the sci fi short, I Am Here.