Steve Tirpak (born 1981) is an American musician from Edgewater Park, New Jersey, United States. He is a trombonist who has arranged and recorded for a number of contemporary musicians including Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Lana Del Rey, Kirk Franklin, P. Diddy, The Roots, LL Cool J, Will Smith, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Estelle, Luther Vandross, R. Kelly, Boyz II Men, Vivian Green, Notorious B.I.G., Gerald Levert, Mindi Abair, Kindred, Young Gunz, and many others. Tirpak was horn section arranger for the John Legend band performing on trumpet and trombone from 2007 to 2010. He has been teaching since 2010 as the Assistant Director for the Creative Music Program at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Tirpak’s’ parents are also professional musicians and music teachers. With their encouragement, he spent his early years studying violin, drums, piano, trumpet, trombone and flugelhorn. While in college at the University of the Arts he met his mentor, Larry Gold, who taught him string arranging and production at The Studio in Philadelphia. Tirpak graduated from the University of the Arts in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in music composition.
Tirpak released his debut jazz album, Who Cares?, in 2006. The album features “slick contemporary passages and spicy latin tinged jazz arrangements” played by Eric Wortham, Ross Bellenoit, Adam Blackstone, Joe Truglio, Aaron Marisis, Cheryl Tirpak, and Orlando Haddad.
After honing his craft at the direction of Larry Gold, in 2007 Tirpak was hired to the John Legend Evolver World Tour as horn arranger and trombonist. Following the tour’s end, Tirpak continued his arranging while simultaneously delving into orchestral work. He wrote for George Michael’s Symphonica Tour in 2012, and composed for full orchestra for Jay-Z’s benefit performance at Carnegie Hall later that year. Tirpak has appeared on the television shows Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman. The follow-up to Who Cares?, You Promised, was released in April 2014.
Tirpak teaches as Assistant Director of the Creative Music Program at the Kimmel Center. He writes compositions for the CMP ensembles.