Five-time GRAMMY® nominated guitarist Mike Stern’s music has always come from a colorful and diverse part of town – a place where numerous artistic styles converge to create a fresh sound that’s rooted in jazz but refuses to adhere to rigid borders. Since his earliest recordings, this former band mate of Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham and other high-profile innovators has grafted elements of rock, blues, soul and more to his solid jazz foundations. On Stern’s street, anybody who brings a sense of energy, eclecticism and passion to the craft of music is welcome to play.
Mike Stern brings a killer unit to the Jazz Cafe – Lionel Cordew on drums, Tom Kennedy on bass and the magnificent Bob Franchescini on tenor sax.
Boston born and Berklee trained, Stern began his career at 22 with Blood Sweat and Tears and then followed that up with stints with Billy Cobham, then with Miles Davis’ Comeback band in 1981. During his three-year period with Miles, Stern appeared on three recordings with the jazz maestro – Man with the Horn, Star People and the live We Want Miles. He toured with Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth Band from 1983 through 1985 and returned to Miles’ lineup for a second tour of duty that lasted close to a year.
The 90’s garnered Stern both the 1993 readers and critics poll for “Best Jazz Guitarist” in Guitar Player, and a pair of Grammy nominations for solo albums, Is What It Is in 1994 and Between The Lines in 1996. His 4th Grammy nom came in 2006 for, Who Let The Cats Out? Then 2007’s collaboration with the venerable Yellowjackets on the album, Lifecycle earned Stern yet another Grammy nomination- his 5th.
In 2009, Mike Stern was named one the 75 greatest jazz guitarists of all time for Downbeat Magazine’s 75th Anniversary Issue.
Stern’s new album, Big Neighborhood (Heads Up International) features guitarists Steve Vai and Eric Johnson; bassist-vocalists Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona; jamband godfathers Medeski Martin & Wood; drummers Dave Weckl, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cindy Blackman and Lionel Cordew; bassists Chris Minh Doky and Lincoln Goines,