the milk bar presents
Steve Dukes got his first guitar at twelve years old and by thirteen was playing blues professionally in clubs ‘til two in the morning. For four dazzling, youthful years Steve was pressing the musical envelope as hard as he could... a salient feature that would characterize the rest of Steve’s musical life. After a year and a half of study at the University of Virginia, the Chairman of the Music Department, Byzantine Chant scholar Milos Velimirovich, suggested Steve, nineteen years old, study with American avant-garde composer John Cage. Steve instinctively knew he wasn’t ready.
After three years on the road playing everything under the sun and having opportunities to play with such luminaries as jazz great Joe Pass, Steve matured enough to study with Cage. Eight months of study, dining, chess and excessiveness with John Cage in New York enabled Steve to envision what was musically possible.
“I know you’re the greatest musical mind of the 20th century and I want to follow in your footsteps,” Dukes said. Cage replied “No, I want you to find your own path.”
Steve left for Atlanta at age 23 to create the Noise Orchestra, and for three years enjoyed notoriety in the avant-garde.
At 27 , “I understood what Cage meant. I found that what I really loved was the American blues I had grown up listening to, so I switched to solo acoustic guitar in1982, created and developed my own musical vision and devoted myself to teaching” said Dukes. But it wasn’t just teaching; Steve founded the very first Rock‘n’Roll school in America... The Atlanta School of Rock (ASR).
The Atlanta School of Rock taught guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboards, trumpet, saxophone and flute in the styles of Blues, Rhythm’n’Blues, Classic Rock, Alternative and Heavy Metal.