4th Friday Concerts at Home | Don Stiernberg | Friday, March 26, 7:30 pm/CST | Livestream

America’s most beloved jazz mandolinist- Don Stiernberg, performing Live from His very Own House! Hear some very tasty licks, be soothed by his tender vocals, and check out the digs while you’re there.

Off Square Music is thrilled to present these 4th Friday concerts to you. Return HERE for your link to the livestream when it becomes available.

After the premiere, you will be able to enjoy the video right here, in the Video Gallery on the Off Square Music website – offsquaremusic.org.

While you’re on the site, you may use the buttons in the left column of any page of the site to DONATE to Off Square Music or TIP a performer. If you’d like to receive news via email of upcoming programs and events, SUBSCRIBE using that button in the left column.

And now about our guest performer, Don Stiernberg

Don Stiernberg recently began his fifth decade as a working musician. Along the way he has been involved in many musical activities: performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching, but is best known for his mandolin playing. Born and still based in Chicago, the mandolin found Don as he grew up “out in the woods” in the nearly-rural suburb of Wauconda, IL. A desire to make music with his banjo and guitar playing brother led Don to appropriate a mandolin that had been given to him. Things came into focus both mandolin and life-wise when his parents sent Don to study with Jethro Burns, famous comedian (Homer and Jethro)and the greatest mandolinist of his time. From the very first lesson, Burns was more than a teacher. He was role model, hero, mentor, and friend, and Stiernberg was hooked and hooked bad on the mandolin.His earliest professional experience was in a bluegrass band with his brother (The Morgan Bros.)and a bit later in The Jethro Burns Quartet.

Currently Don is regarded as a leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, and a respected teacher. The most recent of his nine recording projects is “Good Numbers”, a collection of standards and jazz tunes played by his working band, The Don Stiernberg Trio. Also released in 2016 were three online video instructional courses for Soundslice.com. The trio has performed coast to coast as well as in Germany and Brazil. Don also conveys his love of the mandolin and music at events such as The Mandolin Symposium (CA), The Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Django in June (MA), Mandolin and Guitar Camp North (MA), Steve Kaufman Acoustic Camp (TN), River of the West Mandolin Camp (OR), Cape Cod Mandolin Camp (MA), Ashokan Swing Week (NY), Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino (Italy), European Mandoline Akademy (Germany)and Momento Rio Bandolim (Brazil).

What folks say about Don

“I’ve known, played with, and listened to Don for many years and have always had the highest regard for his mandolin style-understated, subtle, and sweet.” ~ David Grisman

“[Stiernberg] is the foremost jazz mandolinist in America today”, says Mike Marshall, perhaps the most traveled of all reigning mandolin royalty, stylistically if not geographically. “He’s dedicated himself to the Jethro tradition but even beyond that, taking it as a very serious jazz instrument. His feel, just having Chicago in his blood, is so deep. He comes out here [to the San Francisco Bay area], he swings hard. Everybody’s just sitting there with their jaws dropped. And I think that these things are sort of cultural and regional–he embodies that urban guy who really knows what swing is about.” ~ Mike Marshall

“…one of the world’s leading jazz mandolin virtuosos” ~ Chicago Tribune

“If this music, with its joyous swing rhythms and nimble instrumental virtuosity, doesn’t persuade you that, yes, indeed, jazz can flourish on the mandolin(or any other instrument, really)then perhaps nothing will.” ~ Howard Reich

“…lovely, lovely music …we’ve had some real pleasure hearing it”~ Chris Heim, Music Director, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
“Don Stiernberg is one of the best mandolinists in the country, and he is Chicago’s own.” ~ Richard Milne, host of Local Anesthetic on WXRT, Chicago’s Finest Rock
“….you have this really nice sense of time..very relaxed.” ~ Terry Gross, host of Fresh Air on National Public Radio. 
“….you don’t have to love the instrument to appreciate what Don Stiernberg has done with it….he has chosen exactly the right material to locate the mandolin precisely where it belongs in jazz-as a sweet and supple, slightly tremulous singer of love songs, both happy and sad.” ~ Neil Tesser, noted jazz critic
“ Stiernberg’s improvising is a never-ending stream of riveting ideas that are distinctively his own.” ~ David Royko, Chicago Tribune
“ Stiernberg’s mandolin creates absolute magic.” ~ Rich Warren, Sing Out magazine
“Please know that your superb music making has helped to make our series more successful than we ever imagined.” ~ John W.W. Sherer, Dir. of Music. Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL
“On behalf of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I would like to extend my sincere thanks for your participation in the 2001 Marshall Field’s Day of Music. Despite uncertain times in the world, nearly 14,000 people came to Symphony Center to hear glorious music from across Chicagoland…Thanks and Bravo…”~ James Fahey, Assistant Director of Programming
“ A protege’ of Jethro Burns, Stiernberg has absorbed the master’s musical knowledge and technical skill and combined it with other jazz and mandolin influences to forge a compelling musical presence-one that’s his alone.” ~ David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine
“His quartet swings as Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli did; interpreting classic songs and making them come alive.”
Jim Santella, AllAboutJazz.com
“Don Stiernberg is an awesome mandolin player who makes the instrument cry and laugh. The audience adored him last year, and that’s why he’s coming back.” ~ Mary Hatch, music programmer, Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL
“We had a lot of fine musicians here from all over the world. You know we in Germany like classical stuff a lot but we’re open to other styles too. We like Blues, Jazz, and Bluegrass–if it’s played well and sounds good. The tone produced by the mandolin must be round, warm, and full without disturbing sounds. We heard a wonderful mandolin sound from Don Stiernberg from Chicago in Bamberg.”Marga Wilden-Huesgen, mandolin professor emeritus and virtuoso ~ Hochschule fur Musik, Wuppertal/Koln, Germany

“Stiernberg and friends convey joy in virtually every track” ~ Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“If the cliche “musician’s musician” means anything of value, it means an artist with superb instrumental skills who subjugate their innate virtuosity to create sublime, sophisticated music.These rare individuals possess a unique knack for always supporting a melody or enhancing an arrangement instead of flaunting their well-oiled chops. And if that definition holds true, then Don Stiernberg can only be called a musician’s musician’s musician. Admired by every great mandolinist of his generation and the true protege of the legendary Jethro Burns, Stiernberg has crafted a lifelong legacy of inserting the well-turned phrase, the dramatic pause, a hummingbird-like tremolo or the unexpected “outside” note into solos that delight the casual listener and amaze mandolinists of every caliber.” ~ David McCarty

Remember, if you’d like to tip our performer, Don Stiernberg, choose the TIP A PERFORMER button or DONATE TO OFF SQUARE MUSIC. You may use the buttons in the left column of every page of the site, offsquaremusic.org.

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