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ACM was pleased to welcome American Jazz Fusion Guitarist Mike Stern to ACM to deliver a guitar masterclass session in ACM’s Global House.
During the two hour masterclass session Mike Stern opened the floor to students to ask questions ranging from simple practise regimes through to tips on how to get started and the value of music transcription to a musician’s ear and overall development.
Mike Stern was also joined onstage by ACM Bass Tutor Mike Nichols who accompanied Mike in an intimate rendition of ‘Autumn Leaves’, during which Stern explained the intricacies of the chord progression, use of chord tones and melodic lines in the navigation and development of improvisation within this composition.
It was clear for all those present at the session, that Stern has and remains passionate about music, taking joy from simple chord tones right through to the complexities of music theory and the individual personalities and characteristics of playing scales. Stern also stressed the point that regardless of inspiration or material the one thing you can always practise is the ability of playing in time.
More about Mike Stern
With a career spanning three decades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, six-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.
After studying at Berklee College of Music, Stern got his start as a guitar player with Blood, Sweat & Tears at age 22. Following a brief stint with Billy Cobham’s powerhouse fusion band from 1979 to 1980, he moved to New York City, where he was recruited by Miles Davis to play a key role in Miles’ celebrated comeback band of 1981 (which also included bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Al Foster, percussionist Mino Cinelu and saxophonist Bill Evans) 1983 and then again for a second tour of duty in 1985.
From 1985 onwards, Stern was involved in a number of live music projects appearing with such celebrated colleagues as David Sanborn, Jaco Pastorius, saxophonist Bob Berg, Mark Egan and Jeff Andrews, keyboardist Mitch Forman, drummers Dave Weckl and Steve Jordan and as part of Michael Brecker’s quintet.
ACM would like to thank Mike Stern for visiting and we hope to see him back in Guildford again soon!