YOUR TEACHING TEAM

Each brilliant in their own right... together they're a formidable teaching team with a vast knowledge across all stylistic boundaries

Mike Stern

MIKE STERN

To a generation of contemporary jazz guitar aficionados, Mike Stern is regarded as one of the true guitar greats of his generation. A player of remarkable facility whose searing lines are informed mainly by bebop and the blues while also carrying a rock-tinged intensity, Stern made his mark with Miles Davis in the early ‘80s before launching his solo career in 1985. Since then he has released 17 recordings as a leader, six of which were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards. His latest, Trip, is his first since recovering from a serious accident in the summer of 2016 that left him with two broken arms and nerve damage in his right hand that prevented him from even holding a pick. But Stern is back on top of his game, playing with typical authority and prodigious chops on this all-star outing, which features such longstanding colleagues as trumpeters Randy Brecker and Wallace Roney, saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bill Evans (a bandmate of Mike’s in Miles Davis’ ‘comeback band’ of 1981), bassists Victor Wooten and Tom Kennedy and drummers Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers and Lenny White.

Born in Boston on January 10, 1953, Stern grew up in Washington, DC, then returned to Boston to study atthe Berklee College of Music where he met and befriended fellow Berklee students like guitarists John Scofield and Bill Frisell, bassist Jeff Berlin, drummers Steve Smith and Vinnie Colaiuta. He got his first big break in 1976 going out on tour with Blood, Sweat & Tears, appearing on the group’s studio More Than Ever and live album In Concert that year and also on 1977’s Brand New Day. 

Stern was presented with Guitar Player magazine’s Certified Legend Award on January 21, 2012. 

Stern travels the world with his band and working on select projects.  In 2018 he visited five continents, at least twice each.  Along with his touring, he always makes time to mentor young players by leading clinics.  This year he has done clinics around the globe, including Bowling Green, OH; Nashville, TN; Mahwah, NJ; Bangor, ME; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Rovigo, Italy; Hong Kong, China; Stavenger, Norway.


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BEN MONDER

A musician in the New York City area for over 30 years, Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Billy Childs, Andrew Cyrille, George Garzone, Paul Motian, Maria Schneider, and Marshall Crenshaw. He also contributed guitar parts to the last David Bowie album, “Blackstar”. Ben conducts clinics and workshops around the world, and has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, NYU and the New School. He was the recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014, and a Shifting Foundation grant in 2013.  Ben continues to perform original music internationally in solo and trio settings, and in a long standing duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. He has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman, and has released 6 as a leader: Amorphae (ECM, 2015), Hydra (Sunnyside, 2013), Oceana(Sunnyside, 2005), Excavation (Arabesque, 2000), Dust (Arabesque, 1997), and Flux (Songlines,1995). 

Ben is extraordinarily gifted at many things, notably his singular chordal vocabulary which will be the focus of his some of his teaching. 

http://www.benmonder.com/ | https://www.mymusicmasterclass.com/premiumvideos/ben-monder-jazz-guitar-lesson-1/


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LENI STERN

Leni Stern is an unstoppable force of bottomless energy.  Her long-time fans know her from a successful jazz career that saw her touring the globe on the stage of every major festival and legendary club with bands that included some of the biggest heavyweights on the scene (Dennis Chambers, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell (to name a few). Everything changed when in 2005 Leni was first invited to perform at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali.  It was there that she would meet Bassekou Kouyate and his wife Ami Sacko, embraced by their family and their bands, she dove headfirst into the traditions of West African guitar and later the n’goni (African banjo).  It was a natural path from jazz, a personal journey to where her playing and the genre all began, a sort of spiritual exploration coupled with devoted study and practice.

As a bandleader Leni has composed and released 21 albums to date and toured the world as both a teacher and performer, ensuring that the next generation of musicians are inspired to continue the mind-melding and cultural exchange that is so central to Leni’s musical intentions.

http://www.lenistern.com/


 JOEL HARRISON

Named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, Washington D.C. native Joel Harrison has long been recognized as a highly gifted guitarist, composer, arranger, vocalist and songwriter. A survey of Harrison’s body of work would be a bit like spinning a globe and stumbling on regions with names like Duke Ellington, Hendrix, The Beatles, John Mclaughlin, and Charles Ives. Wielding a focused lens and an ever-increasing courage to take risks with his art, Harrison has quickly blossomed from mentorships with Joan Tower, Ali Akbar Khan and Charlie Banacos into one of the most respected artists of his generation.
Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, and has received support from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, NYSCA, New Music USA, and the Jerome Foundation.  He has released 17 cds since 1995 as a leader, and has appeared high up on the "Rising Star" Downbeat Magazine poll for many years. His most recent efforts include Mother Stump (Cuneiform), where Harrison finally puts himself out front as a guitarist, leading a trio that catalyzes numerous American guitar styles, in a stunning display of raw sound and emotion that both soothes and rocks. And now the recently released Spirit House with a stellar quintet of Cuong Vu (trpt), Paul Hanson (bassoon), and Brian Blade (drums).
His 2013 release, Infinite Possibility, new music for a 19 piece jazz orchesta, received a four and a half star review from Downbeat. AllMusic called it "a stellar exercise in ambition and vision." Pastworks include Harrison on Harrison (Highnote, 2005), exploring the music of George Harrison, (Dave Liebman, Uri Caine and David Binney), Free Country (Norah Jones, Binney, Gary Versace), and the septet Search (Donny McCaslin, Stephan Crump, Dana Leong). All display his affection for country, gospel, Indian, modern jazz, classical concepts, and of course his dry sense of humor dispatched with a Zen sensibility.
Harrison has composed several non-improvised works as well, including the PASIC award-winning marimba solo Fear of Silence, and a percussion quartet with piano entitled Faith in Nights. He is the founder and administrator of the Alternative Guitar Summit, a yearly festival devoted to new and unusual guitar music.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkh-7WSLgp4
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