Born in Staten Island, NY, Steve grew up in Staten Island and attended Brooklyn Technical High School before going off to college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. He graduated from RPI in 1976 and was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy from their NROTC Program. He graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering and minored in History and Political Science.
Steve's Dad Ed was in the Navy along with many other family members. He always dreamed of serving in the Navy. Steve has lots of other interests. The main one is music. Steve became a fan of the blues in HS and college. He religiously read the Cream, Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones and other album credits as a teen and discovered BB King, T Bone Walker, Muddy Waters and Chicago’s blues greats who wrote many of the songs covered by early rock bands. He also loves Italian opera, jazz, classical music and rock. Steve also enjoys wines from around the world. He and his wife have visted many wine making areas in the US and hope to expand that overseas in the next few years.
He spent 20 years in the Navy, serving in nuclear submarines. After commissioning in 1976 he went to Nuclear Power School in Orlando, FL, and Prototype in Ballston Spa, NY. He then went to Basic Officer's Submarine School in Groton, CT. From there he went to USS Lafayette (SSBN 616)(GOLD) where he served as E Division Officer, Reactor Controls Assistant and Damage Control Assistant/Interior Communications Division Officer. Steve qualified in submarines at the end of his second patrol and as Engineering Officer at the end of his fourth patrol. The Lafayette made her patrols out of Holy Loch, Scotland.
After Lafayette, Steve volunteered for New Construction duty at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, CT. He was assigned as Weapons Officer on USS Phoenix (SSN 702). He commissioned the ship and stayed with her for her first year in Norfolk, VA, taking her through trials, certification and Post Shipyard Availability in Newport News Shipyard. He left Phoenix and atttended Advanced Officer's Submarine School in Groton.
Steve then served as the Navigation and Operations Officer on USS Boston (SSN 703). Boston was homeported in Groton and made major deployments to the Indian Ocean and the far reaches of the North Atlantic. He participated in many classified operations of vital importance to the securtiy of the United States while on Boston. He qualifed to Command Submarines while serving on Boston.
After Boston, Steve served as Radiological Controls Officer at the Naval Submarine Support Facility in groton, CT. With USS Fulton in overhaul the entire tour, he and the 70+ members of the Radcon Barge and Radiac Calibration Facility maintained 3 Squadrons of submarines (equivalent to 6 of today's Squadrons in size). It was a thankless job and he is proud o fht etireless job his men and women did there.
PXO/PCO school was next for Steve enroute to USS Tennessee (SSBN 734)(GOLD). He finished her construction at Electric Boat as Executive Officer and after commissioning the ship took her to Kings Bay, GA. Tennessee was the first ship homeported there with ship and crew and she was the test platform for the D-5 missile. Steve and the crew took the ship through her paces and certifications and after a tumultuous redesign for the missle got the missile accepted and prepared the crew for their first patrol.
After Tennessee, Steve went to washington, DC. He worked at the Naval Operational Intelligence Center and then it's successor the Naval Maritime Intelligence Center where he led the non-Soviet group in the Submarine Warfare Operations Research Department (later Division), or SWORD for short. He and his group were in demand, making visits around the country and across the globe to work with operational and intelligence units in support of submarine and ASW operations.
As the Cold war ended, Steve was reassigned to work at Commander, Submarine Group Ten as the Area Coordinator where he was involved in a host of operational matters including BRAC 93 and 95, intercommand management at the Kings Bay Base and coordinating efforts with the otehr local Naval Commands at Mayport, FL and the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, FL. He attended and graduated from the Naval War College while in Washington and then attended Brenau University where he obtained a Masters in Business Administration while serving at COMSUBGRU TEN. He retired in 1996 as a Commander and moved to Illinois in 1997.
He began his civilian career working at Byron Nuclear Station. Steve also worked at Sears Headquarters in Hoffman Estates, IL, and then for ESRI before becoming an independent contractor managing technology projects (which he continues to do today).
Jones joined Crossroads Blues Society in 2004 after the Lonnie Brooks Father’s Day Show at Lyran Park. He took on editing the Crossroads newsletter and managing Membership for the club that summer and continues to do so today. He has served on the Board of Directors or as an Officer of the Society since fall of 2004. When former President Mark Thompson moved to Florida about four years ago, Steve became the clubs’ President.
Steve founded the Crossroads Blues Festival in 2010 which was held in Byron, IL for the first four years. The festival moved to Lyran Park in 2014 and the seventh annual blues festival was just held on August 27th. The festival has been a success each year due to his dedicated efforts. The Society also ran a festival in 2013 and 2014 at Aviator’s Stadium in Loves Park, IL, and assisted with a festival in Sterling IL in 2011.
Steve also started the Crossroads Blues Challenge in 2013 where local bands and solo acts compete to represent them in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
In 2005, Crossroads received the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) award for Community Service for their outstanding work in the community. The Society began their Blues in the Schools (BITS) Program in May 2002 where they hire musicians who are also able to educate students about the Blues. To date, 180 programs have been conducted, most in assembly format. 50,330 students from the Rockford and surrounding school districts have attended these programs. This past Spring, Crossroads also held a two-week residency program at East HS where Dan Phelps gave guitar and song writing lessons to music students. They wrote music to songs written by the Honors English students based on the classic novel Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. The songs were recorded and videos made with graphics based on the novel by the English and Music students. Each student who participated received a ticket to the 2016 Crossroads Blues festival at Lyran Park.
In 2014, Crossroads received the Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Blues Foundation Affiliates. The Society was recognized for their body of work since 1994. 20 years of newsletter publishing, BITS, IBC, festival work, shows held and their other work to keep the blues alive in Northern Illinois garnered the Society international recognition. They received the award in at a luncheon in Memphis during the IBC competition.
In summer of 2014, Steve was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame as a writer for Crossroads Newsletter and for Blues Blast Magazine. Steve has written for Blues Blast for many years and assists with the Blues Blast Music Awards show each year. He also writes for the Chicago Blues Guide and, at times, other blues publications. Crossroads Blues Society was also inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.
Crossroads and Steve now help to regularly run blues shows in conjunction with several local venues. On the second Saturday of each month he hires the bands for the monthly Blues show at the Hope and Anchor English Pub in Loves Park, IL. On the third Friday of each month and other dates Steve hires the bands for the Lyran Club Friday Night Fish Fry. He also has a monthly blues show at his church on the first Sunday of each month at All Saints Lutheran Church in Byron, IL. He and other Crossroads members work to bring big name blues shows to the Rockford area throughout the year. He and Crossroads also provided blues acts for the Friday pregame shows at the Rockford Ice Hogs AHL hockey games at the Metro Center for the last two years.
Steve is also a member of the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, the Windy City Blues Society, the Madison Blues Society and the Paramount Blues Association along with being a member of the Blues Foundation. He and his wife Annette reside in Byron, IL, and spend a lot of time at blues events throughout the year.