Born in west London to Jamaican parents, Steve Williamson began playing saxophone at the age of 16 and started his career playing in reggae bands, including Misty in Roots. In 1984 and 1985 he studied at London's Guildhall School of Music. Williamson was a member of the noted collective of British-born black jazz musicians who came together as the Jazz Warriors in the mid-1980s. At the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday open-air festival in 1988 Williamson played alongside Courtney Pine in Wembley Stadium and afterwards was a constant presence at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. He was member of Louis Moholo's Viva La Black (1988) and of Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath (1990). During the 1990s he led his own band and appeared in projects of Iain Ballamy, Maceo Parker, Bheki Mseleku, US3, and Graham Haynes. In 1990 Williamson released his first album A Waltz for Grace with Verve, featuring vocalist Abbey Lincoln. In 1992 he released his second album, Rhyme Time, followed by Journey to Truth in 1994, featuring Cassandra Wilson - Wikipeadia. "Around the time of ‘A Waltz For Grace’ I was doing around three hundred and seventy-five gigs a year! I’ve still got lists of stuff I was doing, and it was literally like, “Do this! Be here! Be that!’ It had to be just so." - Steve Williamson.