Music Students Tutored by Jazz Guitarist Mike Stern

Workshop Rocks Shambhala Music & Performance Hall


Legendary jazz guitarist Mike Stern dropped by the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on Wednesday to chat with students in the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program.

A six-time Grammy nominee, Stern was in Nelson for a Wednesday night performance at the Capitol Theatre as part of his Electric Guitars Tour that also features Eric Johnson. Stern talked to students about his early beginnings in rock and blues, his journey into jazz and his passion for lifelong learning.

Mike Stern visits

Jazz guitarist Mike Stern put on a workshop at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus on Wednesday that featured some incredible playing backed by Contemporary Music & Technology Program instructors Paul Landsberg (guitar), Mark Spielman (bass) and Steven Parish (drums).

“The music is endless… it’s forever,” the 62-year-old guitarist told the first and second year students. “The more you put into it, the more you love it.”

Stern Started in Rock and Blues

Stern grew up in Washington DC and first got on hooked on the guitar by listening to the likes of Jimi Hendrix. In the early-1970s he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and his focus shifted to jazz. He told students that the transition was difficult, but it ultimately changed his life.

“I had to learn to be really patient with myself because it wasn’t easy,” Stern said.

Stern went onto play with Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1976 and in the early 1980s joined Miles Davis where he played guitar with the jazz legend’s celebrated comeback band. Over the years Stern has also played with the Brecker Brothers, Sound Factory, Jaco Pastorius and Richard Bona. His solo career and work as a songwriter are also celebrated. In 1993 he was named Best Jazz Guitarist by Guitar Player magazine.

Selkirk Instructors Join Stern on Stage

During his Wednesday workshop in Nelson, Stern dazzled students with his playing and engaged the young musicians with his wisdom.

Selkirk College instructors Paul Landsberg (guitar), Mark Spielman (bass) and Steven Parish (drums) joined Stern onstage for the playing portion of the workshop.

“Having a musician of Mike’s calibre come and speak with the students is invaluable,” said Spielman. “Not only are his abilities on the guitar incredible, he was able to provide the students with sound advice and important insight into what it takes to be successful in the industry.”

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