It was more or less meant to be that Steve Kroon would be a musician after growing up in Harlem and Queens in the '60s and '70s and hearing all varieties of music playing in the streets.

"Music just struck me like lightning," says Kroon, who still resides in Queens.

The jazz artist started out playing percussion at dances in the neighborhood, then began venturing out and really started playing professionally in his late 20s. By 30, he got a big break playing huge venues behind Luther Vandross.

About 35 years later, he has released four of his own albums, focusing on groovy, melodic Brazilian jazz, with plans to head back into the studio in November. He has still been honing his skills and experience, touring as a sextet made up of other veteran musicians.

"Time forms your sound," Kroon says of the group. "It develops through the re-cords, and the live performances are very important."

His upcoming show in Atlantic City will be his first in the resort, and he says he's excited about the outdoor venue and attracting more fans.

"It's going to be beautiful," he says. "I know people are going to love us."

The band: Steven Kroon, congas and percussion; Igor Atalita, keyboard; Waldo Chavez, bass; Bryan Carrott, vibraphone; Craig Rivers, flute; Diego Lopez, drums.

Learn more:

See him live: Steve Kroon will perform on Thursday, July 11, starting at 8:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, between Mississippi and Georgia avenues across from Boardwalk Hall. He is the second headliner of the Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Concert Series. For information on his show and upcoming performances, go to