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Stephen C. Picou
Assistant Director of the Louisiana Music Commission
A Personal Bio


Stephen C. Picou was born and raised in Eunice, Louisiana. He comes from a family with a strong musical background. His father played trumpet in big bands in the late 1930s and early 1940s and operated a popular nightclub in Eunice from 1950-54. (See Satchmo at Berro's) He graduated from St. Edmund High School in 1974 and briefly attended LSU at Eunice and USL in Lafayette. He was recruited to work in radio at KEUN in Eunice and later moved to KSMB in Lafayette. Along with his older brother he formed the rock band Bas Clas in 1976. He played lead guitar, co-wrote songs, sang, produced, booked and otherwise did every job he could with the band for the next 15 years. During that time he also worked in music instrument sales, as a record store clerk, a private investigator, as a stagehand, a trade show installation and dismantle worker, a live sound engineer and more. Bas Clas attracted the attention of legendary record producer (the late) John Hammond and hard rock producer Tom Werman, but neither producer could secure a record deal for the band. In 1986 the group relocated to Atlanta where it secured a management deal with John Scher's Metropolitan Entertainment. In 1991 the group returned to Louisiana to play the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It was their last gig. Bas Clas recorded three singles, performed more than 1000 gigs and received airplay in 23 states and a few foreign countries. However, after a decade and a half, Steve decided to try something new.

Steve moved to New Orleans in July 1991. That year he began what has been a continuing effort to end the practice of shooting guns to ring in the New Year. The effort was ineffective until 1994 when Amy Silberman, a Boston tourist, was killed by a falling bullet on New Year's Eve in New Orleans. In shock, the community rallied around the cause. With the leadership of victim Gil Helmick and Amy Silberman's cousin, Andy Fox, Steve then became a founding board member of the New Year Coalition. The group's efforts have since greatly reduced the incidence of holiday gunfire and become a model for other cities.

In 1992 Steve returned to college. He attended the University of New Orleans and graduated in August 1994 with a Bachelor of General Studies degree. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Loyola University of New Orleans in 1995.

In April 1992 Steve wrote a letter to the editor of the Times-Picayune about radio station WWOZ that attracted the attention of the newly-appointed Executive Director of the Louisiana Music Commission, Bernie Cyrus. Because he was enrolled full time at UNO, Steve was offered a part time job at the LMC where he joined Cyrus in developing radio and television programming featuring Louisiana music, forming New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration, securing the Armstrong stamp ceremonies and many more accomplishments. In August 1994 Steve Picou became the first-ever Assistant Director of the LMC. In 1998 he was appointed to the Board of the Louisiana Alliance for Arts Education. He also has helped with the formation of other nonprofits to benefit Louisiana's music industry such as the Music Coalition of Louisiana and the Mo' Music Foundation.

Steve is the Louisiana Music Commission's webmaster. In addition he develops strategic plans for the commission and supervises many of the agency's promotional and communications efforts on behalf of the Louisiana music industry. He is currently working with the agency's contracted ad agency to develop an educational CD ROM on the history of the Louisiana music industry.

 

 

 Steve Picou's personal website, not affiliated with the LMC, can be found at


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