Born in Boston on January 10, 1953, Stern studied at the Berklee College of Music. He got his first big break with Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1976 at age 23 and was subsequently recruited by drummer Billy Cobham for a stint in his fusion band Glass Menagerie. Stern was part of the jazz legend Miles Davis’ celebrated comeback band (with bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Al Foster, percussionist Mino Cinelu and saxophonist Bill Evans).
Working with a plethora of famous musicians among whom saxophonists David Sanborn and Bob Berg, drummer Peter Erskine, bassist Jeff Andrews and percussionist Don Alias, Stern released several acclaimed albums and in 1993 he was named “Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year” by the readers and critics of Guitar Player magazine. He scored two Grammy nominations for his next two releases, “Is What It Is” (1994) and “Between The Lines” (1996). In 1997, Stern recorded “Give And Take” with bassist John Patitucci, drummer Jack DeJohnette, percussionist Don Alias and special guests Michael Brecker and David Sanborn.
Then in 2001, Stern made his first foray into vocal music on the Grammy-nominated “Voices”, which featured key contributions from singers Richard Bona, Arto Tuncboyaciyan and Elisabeth Kontomanou. After releasing “These Times” (2004), an eclectic set with guest appearances by bassist Richard Bona, saxophonist Kenny Garrett and banjoist Bela Fleck, in 2006 Stern got his next Grammy nomination for “Who Let the Cats Out”?. Included on the guest roster in this album are bassist-singer Richard Bona, bassists Anthony Jackson, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Minh Doky and Victor Wooten, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bob Malach, drummers Dave Weckl and Kim Thompson, harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret and keyboardist/producer Jim Beard.
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 work has contributed significantly to the renewal of the genre.
In August 2009, Stern released his ambitious, Grammy-nominated “Big Neighborhood”, which featured a long list of talented guests, including guitarists Steve Vai and Eric Johnson, vocalists Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona, jamband godfathers Medeski Martin & Wood, drummers Dave Weckl, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cindy Blackman Santana and Lionel Cordew, bassists Chris Minh Doky and Lincoln Goines, saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bob Malach, trumpeter Randy Brecker and keyboardist/producer Jim Beard.
In 2012 Stern was presented with Guitar Player magazine’s “Certified Legend” Award.
On his latest recording, “Eclectic”, Stern collaborates with Eric Johnson. Unlike his previous recording, “All Over the Place”, which featured a sprawling cast of characters, “Eclectic” was recorded in three days at Johnson’s studio in Austin with a core group of the two celebrated guitarists, bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Anton Fig.
For this, he has received numerous accolades and honors; Modern Drummer magazine inducted Dave into their Hall of Fame and named him “one of the 25 best drummers of all time”. But these honors, in addition to many more bestowed by the music community, are the product of Dave’s undying commitment to making great compositions. Dave’s incredibly dynamic and diverse drumming, which has inspired musicians worldwide, is built on a solid foundation of knowledge and respect for music.
Born in St. Louis Missouri, January 8th, 1960, Dave started playing drums around the age of 8 and was involved with numerous local groups from a very young age, working professionally since he was 16. In 1979 he moved to the East coast to study music at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. At just 19 years of age, Dave was getting recognized by established studio musicians such as Steve Kahn, Michael Brecker, and especially drumming great Peter Erskine. It was Peter who recommended Dave for his first ‘big gig’ in town with a group called French Toast.
From this group, legendary bassist Anthony Jackson recommended Dave for the prestigious Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour in 1983. After this tour Dave was regularly being called for studio sessions with such artists as George Benson, Peabo Bryson, Diana Ross, and Robert Plant, to name a few.
In 1985, Michael Brecker suggested to Chick Corea that he look into Dave’s services for his new Elektric Band. That was the beginning of a seven year relationship with both the Elektric and Akoustic Bands, where nine recordings and three videos were produced, including a Grammy for the first Akoustic Band release.
As a solo artist, Dave has recorded and produced nine recordings to date. In 1998, Dave realized his long-time goal of forming a world-touring band. The Dave Weckl Band released five studio records, including: “Rhythm Of The Soul”, “Synergy”, “Transition”, “Perpetual Motion”, and “Multiplicity”. The band also released a hot live album, “LIVE (and very plugged in)” and a compilation of DWB and instructional videos entitled “The Zone”.
A constant student of the art of drumming and music, Dave gives back every chance he gets through clinics and classes all over the world. Of teaching, Dave says:
“It is my goal to inspire as many young (and not-so-young) people as possible to want to play music, whether it be on drums or another instrument. With all the negatives in the world today, I feel this is my way of contributing a positive action toward spiritual happiness, which music can be a big part of, if you let it. So parents, if your child has a talent for music, please allow them the opportunity to develop that talent!”
Tom Kennedy is an accomplished touring and studio musician who ranks as one of the top acoustic and electric bass players in the world. His credits include performances and recordings with both mainstream legends and leading contemporary players.
Tom’s musical roots are on the Acoustic Bass, an instrument he started playing at age 9 and took to it so naturally that within a few years he was performing with internationally known players such as Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, Nat Adderly, Sonny Stitt and Stan Kenton.
At age 17, Tom would create a musical alter ego when he began playing the Electric bass. Intrigued by the endless possibilities of the instrument, he began developing his now signature style best described as deep, soulful grooves merging seamlessly into acrobatic, horn-like soloing.
Gaining a reputation that soon traveled beyond his native St. Louis, Tom relocated to New York City, where he quickly gained work with multiple groups. Further accolades came through a recording with guitar great Bill Connors and tours with tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker in the world-renowned jazz fusion group Steps Ahead. Additional tours and recordings with Brazilian pianist Tania Maria and guitarist Al DiMeola followed. In 1998, Tom became an integral part of Modern Drummer hall of famer Dave Weckl’s band, a group he toured, composed and recorded with for over 9 years. Tom and Dave have continued to perform and record together on various projects for other artists, including Mike Stern, Didier Lockwood, Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour.
Tom has also performed and recorded with top contemporary players Simon Philips, Steve Gadd, Frank Gambale, Steve Lukather, David Sanborn, Jeff Lorber, Ricky Lawson, Joe Sample and fusion band Planet X.
LA Weekly writes that Tom’s playing is “nothing short of inspiring.” His reputation as a master of his craft is evident among fans worldwide.
One of the most dynamic saxists on the jazz scene, Bob Malach fuses funky earthiness with al highly sophisticated harmonic daring. Since his first recording sessions as a teen in his hometown of Philadelphia, and in his early days on countless sessions with such soul notables as the Spinners, Lou Rawls, and the Jackson Five, Malach has brought to his work an energetic force and riveting melodicism. His prodigious musicality during his formative years led him to high-profile gigs with bass legend Stanley Clarke, pianist/composer Horace Silver, and many others. Shortly afterward, he hooked up with Stevie Wonder, a six-year association which included an appearance on the singers famed discs “Hotter than July” and “Woman in Red”.
Malach’s saxophone can be heard on projects as diverse as Madonna’s first album, the Miles Davis/Quincy Jones collection recorded live in Montreux, and on several tours by legendary rocker Steve Miller. Since releasing his solo debut “Moodswing” in 1990, Malach has been a featured soloist on tours and recordings by celebrated guitar heroes Mike Stern and Robben Ford. In 2006 and 2007 Bob Malach toured and recorded with Barbra Streisand. In addition to extensive sideman work, he is currently broadening his study of the clarinet, and lately has been featured as a soloist with the world famous Metropole Orchestra and the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra.