Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Steve Dyer was influenced by a range of music from an early age, from the great classical masters to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. He left South Africa during apartheid, settling in Botswana where he encountered the exile sounds of Jonas Gwangwa and Hugh Masekela, while steeping himself in the music of eminent saxophonists such as John Coltrane. In the late 1980s Dyer formed the group Southern Freeway, while living in Zimbabwe. Back in post-apartheid South Africa, he directed the Soweto String quartet for an international tour, and went on to create southern Africa’s first substantive music collaboration. Since 2000, Dyer has released four solo albums, composed for and performed with top African dance companies, and in 2010, he composed the first African concerto for saxophone.