Paul SteinbeckPaul Steinbeck is an assistant professor of music theory at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on improvisation, intermedia, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He has written extensively on the Art Ensemble of Chicago—the AACM’s flagship group—and on Fred Anderson, an original AACM member. His book Message to Our Folks is the first history of the Art Ensemble and the first in-depth study of the group’s music. With Fred Anderson, he is co-author of Exercises for the Creative Musician, a method book for improvisers.

Steinbeck holds degrees in music theory from Columbia University (PhD) and the University of Chicago (BA). He is also a bassist, composer, improviser, and recording artist. He studied bass with Harrison Bankhead and composition with Ari Brown. His compositions and improvisations are documented on nine recordings. He performs with a number of ensembles, including the experimental trio Low End Theory, co-led with former AACM president Mwata Bowden.