Mike Stern, one of the world’s most respected guitarists, is back at Maijazz. Last time, he was here with a Norwegian supergroup. This time he brings American musicians to the top tier. Mike Stern has a bit of a track record: he is only 23 years old, he joined Blood, Sweat & Tears, where he played for three years. He then went on to Bill Cobham’s band, before becoming the guitarist of Miles Davis in 1981 – a collaboration that stretched over several years. The list of partners is like a who-is-who in jazz and rock, and includes names like Steps Ahead, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker and Chick Corea.
As a solo artist, Mike Stern has also had significant success. He has released 18 critically acclaimed albums since 1985, of which at least six have been Grammy-nominated. His latest album is “Eleven” from 2019, which is a sequel to the previous album “Trip” from 2017, which was recorded after an awful accident where he broke both arms. He also suffered an injury to the nerves on his right hand, which forced him to tape the plectrum to his fingers. Despite this, he fully recovered, with the same innovative and energetic guitar playing as before.
Bill Evans is the world-class saxophonist, who also shares a name with the famous jazz pianist – made his debut in 1980 with Miles Davis at the age of 21. This resulted in 6 albums, and a number of collaborations with big names such as John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock and Mick Jagger. Bill Evans himself has released 26 solo albums that have earned him several Grammy nominations, including the album “Soulgrass” in 2005, which was a new fusion of jazz and “American roots music”. Bill Evans played at Maijazz 2006 with the band “Soulgrass”. Evans explains that Miles was an important source of inspiration for writing the album; “Miles always told me to write and play what inspires me. I’ve kept true to his advice from the very beginning regardless of the challenges they may create. Miles gave me the confidence to believe in myself as a player and a composer. “
It will be a star team opening Maijazz. Not only Mike Stern and Billy Evans, but also Dennis Chambers on drums and Gary Granger on electric bass.