Mike Stern Quartet w/ Alain Caron

In a career that spans three decades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, five-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation. Born in Boston in January 1953, Stern grew up in Washington, DC, then returned to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music. After college, he 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). 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. Stern was a member of Michael Brecker's potent quintet, appearing on Don't Try This At Home. The '90s proved to be a prolific and critically successful period for Stern. His acclaimed 1993 release, Standards (And Other Songs), earned him the pick of Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year by the readers and critics of Guitar Player magazine. He followed that up with two hard hitting offerings – Is What It Is in 1994 and Between The Lines in 1996 – both of which scored GRAMMY nominations. In 1997, he recorded Give And Take with bassist John Patitucci, drummer Jack DeJohnette, percussionist Don Alias and special guests Michael Brecker and David Sanborn. Their freewheeling covers of Sonny Rollins' "Oleo", John Coltrane's "Giant Steps", Cole Porter's "I Love You" and Jimi Hendrix's "Who Knows" helped Stern earn the Orville W. Gibson Award for Best Jazz Guitarist that year. Stern's ninth release for Atlantic was a six-string summit with colleagues Bill Frisell and John Scofield that was appropriately titled Play. His Voices (2001) release, his first foray into vocal music, was also another GRAMMY nominee. At the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in June 2007, Stern was honored with the Miles Davis Award, which was created to recognize internationally acclaimed jazz artists whose body of work has contributed significantly to the renewal of the genre.

Canadian bassist Alain Caron’s musical career began at the early age of 11 as he soon discovered the music which would become his life’s passion - jazz. In the 70s he moved to Montreal and started extensive studio work. He also started playing quite a bit in jazz clubs in and around town. The self-taught musician took correspondence courses, and eventually, journeyed south to attend Berkley College of Music. While in Boston, he was quickly introduced to some outstanding young musicians, co-students, as well as, seasoned well established professional jazzman. Soon performing nightly, in the Boston area, with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, to name a few. Opportunity knocked in 1977 when he met the Michel Cusson Group.and they emerged in the early 1980s with super fusion group UZEB. Gradually the group evolved into a mature outfit, interested in intelligent fusion—impressive but always musical. Caron soon developed a reputation as a master electric bass player, a virtuoso on the 6-string bass guitar. He has toured world-wide with friends Billy Cobham, Frank Gambale, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Tiger Okoshi, Alex Acuna, Don Alias, and Mike Stern who will be at his side at this year's TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

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