By Scott Tichenor
November 3, 2004 - 6:00 am
Don Stiernberg and his jazz quartet will make a rare California appearance on Wednesday, November 17, 2005 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, California, at 7:30 PM.
One of Chicago's busiest musicians, Stiernberg's recordings as a mandolinist have made inroads on the national jazz and bluegrass scenes. Highlights from this list include his recent "Unseasonably Cool", a jazz mandolin CD on Blue Night Records, and "About Time", his debut CD which garnered exposure on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Recent work with acoustic guitar legend John Carlini has resulted in the critically acclaimed CD "Angel Eyes".
While still a teenager, Don found his direction in life when he met Jethro Burns for mandolin lessons. Later, as a member of The Jethro Burns Quartet, he was able to share the stage with such luminaries as Chet Atkins, Steve Goodman, and The Newgrass Revival. Don also logged time with popular bands in the Midwest such as The Morgan Brothers, Jump in the Saddle, The Freeway Rangers, and Special Consensus. Other favorite sideman gigs include performances with jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, Texas Playboy legend Johnny Gimble, and master guitarist John Carlini. Fellow mandolinists David Grisman and Sam Bush have invited him onstage for impromptu jamming as well. When not appearing at a concert or club with his own quartet, Don will most likely be found around Chicago, either in a recording studio or in a tuxedo on a bandstand.
Don also enjoys teaching and writing about the mandolin. He's given workshops at festivals such as the Ashokan Western and Swing Week, The Winnipeg Folkfest, Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, Steve Kaufman's Mandolin Kamp, and the Classical Mandolin Society of America Convention. Currently, Don serves as the jazz columnist for Mandolin Magazine.
Special thanks to the Mandolin Cafe's primary business partners.