Legendary guitarist Mike Stern joined UMass Dartmouth for a night of music and conversation

By Brian Harris, Staff Writer

On Thursday March 29, 2018, legendary guitarist Mike Stern played an incredible concert at the UMass Dartmouth auditorium.

Whose Mike Stern you ask? Well, he’s a musician with a long and storied history in the business, working with all-timers ranging from well known rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears to the always reliable Miles Davis.

He’s also received six separate Grammy nominations across multiple records, and believe me, from the concert on Thursday, his talent was on full display.

In an interview with The Torch, Stern said his “heart and soul is into jamming,” and that was readily apparent for the lucky audience on Thursday.

Mike Stern, along with Richie Morales on drums and Teymur Phell on bass absolutely brought the house down. Their genre is an interesting topic, Stern mentioned his love of jazz, but his rock and roll history was also on display.

A New Age jazz, rock and roll fusion, all three of the incredibly talented performers radiated a passion for the music that enhanced the entire concert.

The event was billed as “music and a conversation with Mike Stern,” and the conversation part was especially interesting (even more so coupled with our one-on-one interview with the guitarist).

Taking questions from the audience before the show, Stern answered a variety of questions about his career and opinion on music at large, and something that popped up in both our interview and these questions is his opinion on the importance of music. “There should be more of it [music], especially in this world that we live in,” he said in our one-on-one, “That’s the kind of thing that makes you wanna get up in the morning.”

That’s also an opinion shared by its promoter and owner of Six String Music Company, Gary Brown.

“I put the concert together with the intention of trying to help recruit local high school students to the UMass Dartmouth Music Program, and to give students who don’t get the opportunity to see world class musicians get that opportunity. It was intended also to bring back some great shows at a great price to the University.”

You could almost say the theme of the entire event was to promote the importance of music and the arts, and on that front, I think it was a tremendous success.

Finally, I asked Stern if he had any tips for any struggling or not so struggling musicians out there, and he had a lot to say. First off, on the topic of the knowledge required: “I think it’s really good to immerse yourself as much as possible…it’s like learning, getting deeper into a language and this language is endless.” He also said to make sure to “…try to play your heart out, that’s the other thing, the most important thing.”

In conclusion, the “music and conversation with Mike Stern” was a great night of music with a strong and timely message about the future of the music industry. About his future plans, Gary Brown stated “I plan on having a few more shows this year. I only promote great music and quality musicians. Just like the musicians teaching in the UMass Dartmouth Music Department. Those people work hard.”

And, after this event, those are some shows I cannot wait to see!


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