Meadows was born in West Virginia and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. He began playing the clarinet and studying classical music at the age of nine. He started playing tenor sax in high school, and then migrated to soprano sax.
His passion for various types of music led him down an eclectic musical path. He was intrigued by the styles of jazz musicians, like Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bichet, Johnny Hodges, John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Fortune, Joe Henderson, Grover Washington and many others. After studying jazz at Rippowam High School in Stamford, CT with Anthony Truglia, Meadows attended Berklee College of Music. There he majored in arranging and composition. He later went to the SUNY Purchase School for the Arts. During his college years he played in a number of bands including disco, R&B and various jazz ensmbles. I got a lot of sideman jobs in college, and I have always said I got my real graduate degree playing clubs, says Meadows, who perfected his craft studying with Sonny Fortune, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman and Eddie Daniels.
“Not long after I finished school, (drummer) Norman Connors recorded one of my songs, “Invitation” and then asked me to join his band. I later produced his Passion album with my colleague Jacques Burvick (Aquarium Dream) . Things just fell into place. Meadows first hit the airwaves in 1991 with “For Lovers Only”, but his career really began one day in the late ‘80s at New York’s Grand Central Station. He had been a sideman with Connors for three years, with only vague notions of eventually going solo. One day, while waiting for a train, he pulled out his horn and began playing under the huge dome. His sweet sound caught the attention of fellow traveler, producer and TV composer Jay Chattaway, who happened to be passing by on his way to the train. Chattaway was so impressed with Meadows’ sound that he hooked Meadows up with legendary keyboardist Bob James. Meadows and James collaborated on a recording which unfortunately went unreleased.
The experience put him on the road to his eventual success. Meadows hooked up with numerous artists and musicians and became a well known sideman in his own right, recording or performing over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, Will Downing , Bob Baldwin, Chuck Loeb, John Lee, among many others.
In 1990 Meadows submitted a solo project to Steve Backer at Novus/RCA and was signed to a recording contract, thus marking the beginning of his solo career. Meadows’ first RCA release “For Lover’s Only” was a huge success and was followed by his ground breaking “Keep it Right There” album. He became a staple of the contemporary jazz format with his subsequent recordings, which include Body Rhythm (1994) and Forbidden Fruit (1996), Passion (1997), Another Side Of Midnight (1999), Next To You (2000), In Deep (2002), Players Club (2004), Dressed To Chill (2006), Secrets (2009) Whisper (2013) and Soul Traveler his current release on the New York based Shanachie Label.