What’s Hot With Jazz Guitar: Steve Cardenas

by Doc Dosco

This week we are featuring the very fine jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas.

Online Bio

Steve Cardenas has diverse credits as a performer and recording artist.Having started his musical career in Kansas City, he is now an integral part of the jazz community in New York.

Cardenas has backed up such greats as Eddie Harris, Marilyn Maye, Jay McShann, and Slide Hampton. He has toured Europe extensively, performing at various jazz festivals including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on three separate occasions and the North Sea Jazz Festival four times. He has regularly performed in groups led by such diverse artists as Paul McCandless of the group Oregon, trumpeters/composers Mark Isham and Jeff Beal, bassists Marc Johnson and John Patitucci, as well as vocalists Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones. Steve is currently a member of the Paul Motian Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, a group led by Joey Baron called “Killer Joey”, as well as Ben Allison & Man Size Safe. In addition, he leads his own trio performing at various venues around New York City.

Along with performing and recording, Cardenas is on faculty at the New School in New York where he teaches the Thelonious Monk Ensemble and gives private lessons. Recently, Steve was an instructor at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. In 2003, he was guest faculty at the California Institute of the Arts for the spring semester. Other workshops have included Langnau Jazz Nights in Switzerland, Seda Jazz in Spain and Jamey Abersold Summer Jazz Camps. Also, in collaboration with editor Don Sickler, Cardenas completed work on a book of Thelonious Monk's compositions through Hal Leonard Publishing. The Thelonious Monk Fakebook marks the premier publishing of all of Monk's compositions together, with many of them appearing for the first time.

Panoramic is Steve's latest release for Fresh Sound New Talent Records. As on his previous record, Shebang, this CD features Larry Grenadier on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums, with Tony Malaby added on tenor saxophone.

Steve Cardenas' website:


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc now endorses Peerless Guitars and has the website Jazz Guitar Zone to help promote Peerless jazz guitars in the US. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!)

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