Mike Stern speaks the language of the heart

The Artistry of… Mike Stern

His playing bridges generations in scope, sound, attitude and spirit. His artistry speaks of respect for the foundations and the explorations of players who have come before him, contemporaries, and those just emerging.

These words come from his website: “[Stern] has the unique ability to play with the finesse and lyricism of Jim Hall, the driving swing of Wes Montgomery and the turbulent, overdriven attack of Jimi Hendrix.”

His work with giants, masters of the music, touches upon, and graces effortlessly, the weaves and seams that are the connections of many genres. He has been part of the music-making mastery of Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, and Blood, Sweat, & Tears, with so many others on the list.

A traumatic accident affected and damaged the nerves of his right hand and led to an adventure through many significant surgeries and medical attention. Overcoming what could easily have been career-ending adversity informs the drive that is evident not only in his personal spirit but in the spirited energy of his brilliant body of work.

Blues, rock, funk and jazz intersect where Stern’s hands and fingers and picks hit the fretboard and the strings. The multi-pronged intersecting is in his original music, too; it is as driven and defining as all of the music he plays.

About his creativity, his words tell the story of his artistry: “Whenever I write music, it’s all about a language of the heart. It’s something people have said before, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I’m trying to connect with something in my heart.” Stern’s music comes from the same place we say is where love stems from. Heart, love, music.



About The Artistry of…

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish, made possible with the support of Yamaha Canada.


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