Birth Date: November 22, 1950 / Age: 65
Birth Place: Winthrop, Massachusetts, USA
Biography: Steven van Zandt (born November 22, 1950 as Steven Lento in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American musician, actor, and radio disk jockey. His is most known as one of the early members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band where he plays guitar and mandolin, and as an actor on the television drama The Sopranos.
Van Zandt frequently goes by the stage names Little Steven or Miami Steve, and is an accomplished songwriter, arranger, and producer, notably for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
He left the E Street Band in 1984 (Springsteen's song "Bobby Jean" partly describes this split) and has been involved in numerous solo musical projects and collaborations since then, ranging from soul music to hard rock, sometimes fronting a group known as The Disciples of Soul.
Always active in political causes, in 1985 he created the music-industry activist group Artists United Against Apartheid as an action against the Sun City resort in South Africa. Forty-nine top recording artists, including Springsteen, Bono, Bob Dylan and Run DMC, collaborated on a song called "Sun City" in which they pledged they would never perform at the resort.
Van Zandt returned to the E Street Band when it was reformed (briefly in 1995, permanently in 1999) and remains with it.
In 1999 he took one of the core acting roles in The Sopranos, playing level-headed but deadly mob consigliere and strip club owner Silvio Dante. He has been acclaimed for his performance, although his appearances in the show's second season were limited somewhat by conflicts with the E Street Band tour schedule.
Starting in 2002 he hosts Little Steven's Underground Garage, a syndicated radio show that celebrates garage rock and similar rock sub-genres.
Van Zandt maintains a certain look, always wearing gypsy clothes and a bandana on stage, while donning a noticeable hairpiece on The Sopranos. Both are to cover permanent loss of hair from a car accident where he hit the windshield with his head.  [also NPR interview]
Among E Street Band members he gets the second-most amount of "face time" in concert after Clarence Clemons, frequently mugging for the audience and sometimes delivering his unpolished, nasal backing vocals jointly into Springsteen's microphone. He is most prominently featured on the songs "Two Hearts", "Land of Hope and Dreams", "Badlands", and "Murder Incorporated".