John Stein
Gig Seeker Pro

John Stein

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Jazz




"John Stein -Raising the Roof"

"Raising the Roof" is a hard-swinging and thoroughly enjoyable album by Boston-based guitarist John Stein. Featuring an all-star quartet, with Koichi Sato keyboards, John Lockwood bass and Zé Eduardo Nazario on drums, the group plays together with a sense of cohesion that borders on the realm of ESP. While this level of communication and familiarity is to be expected by world-class jazz musicians such as these, what is surprising is that they were able to play in this fashion with such a quick rehearsal and recording schedule, another testament to their masterful musicality

The tunes are a mix of freshly arranged jazz standards and Stein’s original compositions. Stein’s arrangements stick fairly close to the original composers’ intent, but go beyond the realm of simple head charts. A master of subtly, as both a player and writer-arranger, Stein finds small ways to breath new life into these classic jazz tunes.

One of his strongest, and favorite, ways to put his personal stamp on a standard is through his use of unexpected rhythms and grooves. “Nica’s Dream,” which is taken at an unexpectedly fast swing tempo, along with the oft-played “Moanin’,” which features a hard-driving brush groove by Brazilian based percussionist Nazario, are examples of refreshing arrangements that don’t lose touch with the composer’s original intent.

Stein’s guitar playing on Raising the Roof is simplistic in the best sense of the word. Modern jazz soloists, especially guitarists, are often guilty of overplaying and of making the music complex for the sake of being complex, something that has both raised the intellectual level of the music and isolated the general audience at the same time.

Stein’s playing is simple in the way that Jim Hall’s playing is simple. There is a solid focus on the melody, his love of rhythmic variety is immediately evident and above all, any advanced harmonic or melodic application is done with the greatest care and utmost intent. Stein never plays a line or phrase because his fingers tell him to, every line and chord has the sense of being carefully chosen and played with confidence and precision.

There’s a strong sense that his ears are guiding his notes, not his technique, which is something that can only come from spending as many years on the bandstand as Stein has. Using all of these approaches, Stein is able to draw the listener in and allow them to be a part of the music, something that seems to be a bit of a lost art on the jazz scene in recent years.

"Raising the Roof" is not going to reinvent jazz or change the way people think about jazz guitar. What it will do is provide an hour of musical enjoyment for musicians and non-musicians alike. Far too often jazz is criticized because the musicians seem to be creating music for either themselves or solely for the enjoyment of other jazz musicians. Stein has found a way to keep the music intellectually relevant, while at the same time enjoyable by anyone who listens to it. Not an easy feat to accomplish in any musical genre

Dr. Matt Warnock - All About Jazz

"John Stein - Encounterpoint"

Jordu; Line Drive; The Roundabout; Dindi; Close Your Eyes;
Trois; Half-Whole Blues; So Danco Samba; You Don’t
Know What Love Is

PERSONNEL: John Stein, guitar;
Koichi Sato, keyboards; John Lockwood, bass;
Ze Eduardo Nazario, drums, percussion

"Encounterpoint" is John Stein’s seventh album as a leader, and it features a great array of unique originals and timeless standards. Each member of the band on this date had played with Stein before, but they were only together in this combination for the two days that this recording was made. Although many would say that a non-working band shouldn’t make an album until they have established a music relationship, I would not have guessed they hadn’t yet done this based on the results—the playing is very loose and relaxed, and the communication is a defining characteristic.

Stein starts off strong on the classic “Jordu” which he gives a Brazilian twist. He has a very distinct rhythmic approach where he is alternately in front and behind the beat—something that can only be achieved with an intense presence of mind. Keyboardist Koichi Sato is a great accompanist in that, in the best way possible, you hardly realize he is there. For one, the spongy and atmospheric sound of his organ or Nord, or any of the other non-piano keyboards he uses doesn’t interfere with John’s playing, and then the way he goes about comping is to be minimal and supportive. He gives the album a taste of funky lounge type grooves as well.

A powerful contributor and instigator of the rhythmic excitement on this album is the Brazilian drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario, who has played with some of the highest regarded Brazilian innovators, such as Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti. Although he often plays straight ahead here, his rhythmic agility is always finding its way to the surface, as it inspires the band to some incredible moments. Bassist John Lockwood also proves to be a rhythmically exciting soloist on tunes such as the Stein original “Line Drive.”

Stein’s tune "Roundabout" is surely a highlight with its blues-funk earthy melody and the great groove laid down by the rhythm section. Stein offers a great solo, showing plenty of blues influence, while still retaining his distinct style. He follows this up with a very introspective and beautiful Jobim tune entitled "Dindi", accompanied by Zé on percussion, and through overdubbing, himself on bass. "Half-Whole Blues" may have been created by a musical pattern of going down a half step then up a whole step, or a similar such intervallic method of composing, but the result is quirky and fun, and Steins’ solo incorporates this mechanism to inspire some interesting phrases.

This album features a leader who has a very distinct voice on his instrument, and beyond that, he possesses all of the characteristics that make a listener want to hear a player—rhythmic excitement, interesting melodies, depth, honesty, and plenty of chops that he uses for the right reasons. Put that on top of a killer band with tons of groove, and you have a great album.

Gary Heimbauer
- Jazz Improv Magazine

"John Stein - Encounterpoint"

Personnel: John Stein, guitar and acoustic bass; John Lockwood, acoustic bass;
Koichi Sato, keyboards; Ze Eduardo Nazario, drums and percussion.

Tracks: Jordu, Line Drive, The Roundabout, Dindi,
Close Your Eyes, Trois, Half-Whole Blues, Só Danço
Samba, You Don't Know What Love Is

John Stein’s latest CD, "EnCounterPoint," serves as a wonderful follow-up to his previous encounter, "Concerto Internacional de Jazz," a thoroughly Brazilian affair released in 2006.

This time, the musicians convened under fairly unusual circumstances: they held a two-day marathon during the fall of 2007 to record the entire set after traveling from various corners of the world. From Yokohama came Japanese-based keyboardist Koichi Sato. Drummer and percussionist Ze Eduardo Nazario came from Brazil, while long-time Boston/New York bassist John Lockwood emerged from his native continent of South Africa to make the session. The summit was held in Boston, where both Sato, Lockwood, and Stein had resided at various times while paying dues at the Berklee College of Music.

The album starts with a sparkling version of the Duke Jordan tune, "Jordu," where Nazario keeps a chatty snare and ride, while Sato plays a warm electric piano, and Lockwood walks warmly underneath. Meanwhile, Stein offers short but effective melodic gifts in his solo. The next tune, "Line Drive," is one of the tastiest cuts on the roster. With a fairly simple melody and chord progression, Stein’s original tune is a medium-tempo piece that boasts a care-free flow that allows each man to get their jollies — especially John Lockwood, who performs passionately when his turn comes on bass. "The Roundabout" sounds like it could have easily been inspired by Modeski, Martin & Wood, with the funky, hip-hop backbeat provided by Ze Eduardo Nazario. "Dindi," one of the more beautiful(if less popular) tunes by the master Anton Carlos Jobim, slowly snakes its way through the grooves, with John performing a dual role as guitarist and overdubbed
acoustic bass — and executed to perfection. Although three instruments are present, the tune is really a duet between Stein and Nazario, who creates a warm blanket of percussive effects, underneath Stein’s luscious chordmelody lines that would make Kenny Burrell blush.

The following track, "Close Your Eyes," is the shortest in length, but doesn’t disappoint. Though it’s another lesser-known tune — an approach that Stein tends to enjoy — it still offers the listener several treats, including Stein’s consistently juicy, Wes-inspired fat guitar tones, Nazario’s swinging bop drums, and Kochi Sato’s bubbling Hammond organ effects. The aptly-titled "Trois"is a bass feature for Lockwood, who wastes no time in taking what is his. Followed by Sato’s refreshing Fender-Rhodes solo, the tune bounces along blithely, with Stein taking the last solo flight before making a smooth landing.

Stein’s Monk-inspired "Half-Whole Blues" is an extended sixteen-bar blues jam that clocks in at nearly nine minutes, giving each guest plenty of room to explore with jagged lines and unsettling rhythms. Stein returns to Brazil with Jobim’s light-hearted "So Danco Samba," delivered at a quickened pace that cruises effortlessly. The final track, "You Don’t Know What Love Is," comes not as a ballad, but a medium-slow bossa that works surprisingly well, especially for Kochi Sato, who get’s the lion’s share of the treat, providing a Chick Corea-flavored electric piano solo that serves as the centerpiece for the tune. The whole tune, like the entire album, ultimately goes down as smooth as a good bourbon.

All in all, the nine tracks offered on John Stein’s seventh album definitely insures that it ranks as one of his finest outings, and easily maintains his reputation as a top-shelf contemporary guitarist of the new century.

Wayne Everett Goins - Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine

"John Stein - Green Street"

Personnel: John Stein, guitar, David Newman, alto and tenor sax, Ken Clark, organ, Dave Hurst, drums.

Green Street is an homage to—who else?—the great Grant Green. The CD starts with a classic 60's groove, “Booga Lou”, which, as you may have already guessed, is a delightful nod to Lou Donaldson, one of the prime architects of the groove that dominated the nightclubs back in the day.

"Hotcakes" opens up with a tasty drum riff, and glides easily into the flute/guitar melody set in a minor mode, a perfect vehicle to blow over, with Fathead quoting "Eleanor Ribgy" in the second chorus of his solo—it lays so perfectly, you know it was just too irresistible to Newman at the time. Ken Clark's highly rhythmic and percussive attack conjures up the McGriff more than the Smith, which is refreshing because the latter would be most organists' obvious first temptation toward imitation. Meanwhile, KC native (and current faculty member at Berklee in Boston) Stein's lines don't bother trying to duplicate Grant's stand, he does himself justice by being himself. For that alone, he earned some serious cool points from me.

"Jack's Back" is a tasty medium-up blues, which, not coincidentally, might fit quite comfortably in Captain McDuff's wheelhouse. This is the tune to pick when you want to sit back, close your eyes, and get lost in the burning, back-and-forth swirl of the Leslie as Ken Clark blisters one right down the middle. As for John Stein's performance, he has the smarts to know when to speed and when to cruise, and he chooses to play it here the way Kenny Burrell would have—deep in the groove, swinging lines, and no wasted notes.

The lustrous ballad, "Our Love Will See Us Through," co-written by Stein, presents silky textures of Stein's orchestral sounds found in his chord melodies, followed by elegant single-note phrasing over the double-time section. Meanwhile, Fathead takes his sweet time and offers a tenor lecture on what love is. "Sultry" is a Stein original that best represents the high level of artistic achievement Stein has maintained over the years, as he wisely channels Wes' sensibilities while simultaneously asserting his own personality to carve out his best solo on the CD. This, of course, fuels Ken Clark to summon his best organ solo in return, making this tune my favorite of lot—not an easy task since there's so much to like on this disc.

Next up is "Green Street," the title track that takes 'ya back—to every dark little dive you ever ducked in past nine, after peeping through the grease-stained window to get a peek at the organ trio swinging like mad in the far corner of the bar. Stein enters slowly, pacing himself like a skillful boxer—first jabbing, then floating like a butterfly through the blues shuffle that's his to carry for as many rounds as he pleases. Newman and Hurst don't disappoint on this one, either, conjuring up the spirits of Turrentine and Tate, and Ken Clark is simply smoking. "Greyhound" is the up-tempo minor-key cooker that races along in a major way, the chord progression not your average twelve-bar roadmap. After Stein and Clark lay down the law, drummer Dave Hurst gets to establish some ground rules of his own, with a percolating solo that is aggressive, yet not overbearing. "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" features Fathead Newman on alto, which is a wonderful treat since we're so accustomed to his tenor prowess. Stein follows Fathead with a short but sumptuous solo that perfectly captures the easy, laid-back ambience the tune was meant for.

"Culebra" is a Latin-flavored, slow-simmering shimmy that makes me want so badly to retract my previous statement about "Sultry" being my favorite. One listen and you'll know exactly what I mean: The thoughtfulness of Stein's phrasing reminds me, oddly enough, of how carefully and considerately Carlos Santana delivers his lines when he preaches his sermons on guitar — tell me if you, too, can't hear that on this one. "Digits," which features a breathtaking solo by Ken Clark, has a melody unlike anything else on the album. This tune that gives Stein a chance to flaunt his flawless linear approach that always makes you want to hear at least one more chorus — a great sensation for the listener to experience. "Be Oo Ba" and "You Stepped Out of A Dream," the final two pieces, were added as bonus tracks to this excellent collection that was originally released ten years prior to this well-done reissue.

A decade earlier, I never knew what I was missing, but I sure am glad I caught John Stein the second time around—what a gift this man has. He's in an elite class: A mere handful of jazz guitarists who consistently put taste above chops and flash. John Stein has the ability to say so much more with less effort than most of his contemporaries can muster. It is, to say the least, refreshing.

—Wayne Everett Goins
- Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine

"John Stein - Concerto Internacional de Jazz"

Guitarist Stein brings worthy sound home from Brazil

Boston jazz guitarist John Stein spent some time in Brazil last summer, playing a series of concerts. During the tour, he organized a recording session in Sao Paulo with a group of Brazilian musicians, and the enjoyable results are now available on his sixth CD, "Concierto Internacional de Jazz."

Stein, who teaches at Berklee College and has played in saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman’s band, is a fluent stylist in a variety of jazz idioms. He’s an impeccable technician, too, and a respected theorist of the instrument, as evidenced by coverage of him in national jazz publications and his own columns in Just Jazz Guitar magazine.

This is not just another album of bossa novas (though there are a pair of those) or Brazilian crossover tunes. Instead, it’s mainstream contemporary jazz played by a blend of U.S. and Brazilian musicians who speak the same musical language but who each add their distinctive inflections. Stein’s unfailingly melodic yet solidly driving guitar lines push the entire ensemble always forward, with strong and tasteful support from bassist Frank Herzberg and drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario. The Brazilian musicians bring an innate sensitivity to sensuous dance rhythms and a subtly syncopated sense of melancholy.

The album contains four originals - including the straight-ahead, upbeat "Happy Hour" by Stein and Herzberg’s intricate and edgy bossa nova waltz, "Marta" - along with ballads, some under-appreciated standards such as "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and "I’m a Fool to Want You," and a single tune by the father of bossa nova, Carlos Antonio Jobim.

A ballad by Stein, "Lonely Street," showcases the intricately imaginative flute playing of Teco Cardoso, entwining effortlessly with Stein’s lyrical guitar lines. "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," a standard worth hearing more often, features a lyrical bass solo by Herzberg, high in the instrument’s range, which provokes a bright, melodic solo from the always-inventive Stein.

An original by Herzberg, "It’s About Life," opens with a contemplative, slowly swinging statement by trombonist Bocato, leading into increasingly intricate and abstract improvisations by Bocato and pianist Alexandre Zamith, all grounded in an indefinable, sophisticated blue-moodiness.

"Blues in Maude’s Flat" by Grant Green, a guitarist to whom Stein has been compared, begins with Stein stretching out in an expansive, relaxing groove, until drummer Nazario pushes him to a terser, more emphatic urgency. The album closes with "Inutil Paisagem" by Jobim, a stately, understated bossa nova reminiscent of his classic, "Corcovado."

This is an album any fan of guitar - or of jazz - will want to search out. It’s enough to make me go out of my way to hear any ensemble led by Stein. You can do just that on Nov. 7, when Stein will lead a quartet of different musicians playing many of the pieces on this album at Scullers jazz club in Boston. There are two sets, at 8 and 10 p.m., and you can hear the music with or without dinner.

Jon Lehman
- The Patriot Ledger

"John Stein - Interplay"

Azica Records AJD72226

Personnel: John Stein (guitar); John Lockwood (bass); Yoron Israel (drums) Tracks: Eleanor’s Folly; Django; Bluesette; Goodbye; Darn that Dream; Poinciana; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; Estaté; Weaver of Dreams

Recorded March 18 & 19, 2003 at PBS Westwood, MA, Peter Kontrimas, Engineer

I listened to this disc six or seven times before I thought to read the liner notes. I had the impression I was listening to a working band, three cats who had spent years playing with each other. The kind of chemistry I associate with Keith Jarrett’s work with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette; the apparent telepathy that goes on between Brad Mehldau, Jorge Rossy and Larry Grenadier.

Then I find out that Kansas City native John Stein has worked some with John Lockwood but had never met Yoron Israel before this recording session. It’s a sort of loss-of-cabin-pressure feeling, the tour guide is showing you Rome and mentions, casually, that it was built in just a day.

Except for the opening track, it’s an all-standards set, Stein’s tone clean and dry, not quite as free of reverb as an old Wes Montgomery recording, but restrained enough to have the feeling you’re in the room with the trio, not in a concert hall. And Stein’s playing is very complete, exploiting the guitar’s polyphonic nature with beautiful harmonized arrangements, chord solos and adroit single-note lines.

Lockwood and Israel are completely transparent, on tracks like "Django" and "Weaver of Drams" where Stein sets up the head with a solo arrangement, you don’t even realize they’ve snuck in at first. All three get ample solo time, the set is not a showcase of John Stein with bass and drums along for the ride. The one piece where Stein plays unaccompanied is "Polka-Dots and Moonbeams," a solo arrangement in the tradition of Joe Pass (and Wes — who’s own solo arrangement of that tune has seen many rotations on my turntable.

Living up to the title of the album, the three together do a lot of the spontaneous "arranging" that is the essence of interplay, feeding off each other. Fans of traditional jazz who appreciate the virtuosity required to make great music without trying to show-boat the skills of any one player won’t go wrong with this.

—Rod McBride
- Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine

"John Stein - Portraits And Landscapes"

Portraits and Landscapes
John Stein | Jardis Music

Here’s an album that definitely lives up to its name, as guitarist John Stein and his colleagues paint a series of exquisite "pictures in sound," all but one of which were written by Stein himself. The exception is the standard "Moonlight in Vermont," given a pleasurable ride by Stein's working trio (bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa, drummer Greg Conroy) and guest pianist Larry Goldings. Stein keeps the music fresh and beguiling by altering form and tempo, using samba, bossa, hard bop, soul Jazz, odd meter and even a boogaloo to underline his purpose. He also varies the size and texture of the group, adding Bill Thompson's alto on "Be Ooo Ba," his tenor on "Mister Dave," his flute on "Sarlat" and "Rio Con Brio," moving Goldings to Hammond B3 on "Sammy" and employing the trio alone on "Ben J Man." Stein's compositions are clear, even–tempered, mellow and invariably persuasive, rather like his playing. He charts an agreeable course on the swaying "Samba Nights" and keeps a firm hand on the rudder until the voyage ends. Goldings, Thompson and Kaumeheiwa are given ample blowing space, which they use to great advantage, while the rhythm section (impelled by Conroy’s resourceful timekeeping) is always on top of its game. There are times, as on "Moonlight in Vermont," "Be Ooo Ba" or the lovely "Sarlat," when one is reminded, if only briefly, of such smooth early–bop guitarists as Jimmy Raney, Johnny Smith, Chuck Wayne, Jim Hall and Billy Bauer. Stein, however, doesn't remain long in one groove, turning up the heat on "Mister Dave" with some crisp and bluesy fretwork, aiming explicitly southward on the swaying bossa "Madelyn," shadowing Goldings stride for boppish stride on "Sammy" and galloping gracefully through "Rio Con Brio" and "Ben J Man" before further loosening the reins on "Switch–a–Roo." A tasty soufflé, well–done but not overcooked.

Jack Bowers - All About Jazz

"John Stein - Conversation Pieces"

Conversation Pieces
John Stein | Jardis Music (2002)

Blessed are the eavesdroppers, for they shall overhear such consistently beguiling conversations as those between guitarist John Stein, reedmeister David "Fathead" Newman and their eloquent companions, bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa and drummer Greg Conroy. Even though the guitarist "puts words in his mouth" (all of the compositions are Stein's), Newman evidently relishes the thought-provoking interplay, as this is their second album together. The session is evenly divided between trio and quartet numbers with Newman playing alto on "Up and at 'Em," flute on "September," tenor on "Serengeti," "Stepping Stones" and "BB Blues," and Stein, Kaumeheiwa and Conroy conversing brilliantly among themselves on "Half Minor," "Oak Bluffs," "São Paulo," "Lucy Lou" and "The Willie Walk." When Newman is on board he and Stein work together as flawlessly as Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello; every note they play is as complementary as it is captivating. Newman, of course, is a known quantity, having paid his dues and earned respect over the years in a variety of formats from straight-ahead Jazz to R&B. There's no questioning his talents, which are abundantly clear on each of his five appearances. Stein, although nowhere near as prominent as Newman, brings a plethora of expertise to the table, playing and writing with conspicuous warmth and awareness. As a player, the technique is exemplary, the tone flat-out gorgeous; as a writer, the tunes are harmonically sophisticated but always charming and accessible. Even though Newman's is a towering presence, the trio numbers are outstanding in their own way, thanks to Stein's melodic artistry and the tasteful and near-telepathic group interplay. A marvelous album that cooks moderately but persuasively from start to finish.

Jack Bowers - All About Jazz

"John Stein"

John Stein is one of the great guitarists, in the tradition of Joe Pass and Tal Farlow. Raising The Roof proves my point!

Ron Della Chiesa - WPLM, 99.1 fm

"John Stein"

John Stein is one of the finest jazz guitarists you'll ever hear, with beautiful touch, tone, swing, detail, and emotion.

Jon Garelick - The Boston Phoenix





•Wood and Strings

•Color Tones


•Bing Bang Boom!

•Hi Fly

•Turn Up The Quiet

•Raising The Roof


•Concerto Internacional de Jazz


•Conversation Pieces

•Portraits and Landscapes

•Green Street

•Hustle Up!

John's newest release is the 2-disk compilation Lifeline, which presents highlights from his 2 decade career as a recording artist.

Bing Bang Boom!, Whaling City Sound [WSC 062], features John's guitar, along with virtuosic contributions from Jake Sherman, piano and Hammond organ; John Lockwood, acoustic bass; and Zé Eduardo Nazario, drums.

Hi Fly, Whaling City Sound [WSC 054], also features John's guitar, along with Jake Sherman, piano and Hammond organ; John Lockwood, acoustic bass; and Zé Eduardo Nazario, drums.

Turn Up The Quiet, Whaling City Sound [WSC 051], is an intimate collaboration with wonderful jazz vocalist Ron Gill. Half of the tunes are simply Ron's voice and John's guitar. The remaining songs add sensitive pianist Gilad Barkan while John switches to acoustic bass. The repertoire is challenging and distinctive, and the three musicians have presented it in a deeply personal manner.

Raising The Roof, Whaling City Sound [WSC 050], features John along with the superb musicianship of Koichi Sato from Japan, John Lockwood who is originally from South Africa, and Zé Eduardo Nazario from Brazil - truly world music in the best sense!

Raising The Roof follows on the heels of John's successful 2008 release Encounterpoint Whaling City Sound [WSC 042], which contains an excellent mixture of original compositions and standards, and features the same virtuosic musicians.

John's recording, Green Street, featuring reed-playing legend David "Fathead" Newman, was originally released in 1999 to critical acclaim. Green Street is a classic organ-jazz recording, and has now been re-released by Whaling City Sound [WSC 039]. It is re-mixed, re-mastered, and features two bonus tracks not on the original release, along with extra liner notes and photographs.

John's recording, Concerto Internacional de Jazz, was released on the Whaling City Sound Label [WCS 031]. Recorded in Brazil during a concert tour, Concerto Internacional de Jazz is a collaboration between John and some of Brasil's most prominent jazz musicians. Flavored by the combined sensibilities of two distinct musical cultures, Concerto Internacional de Jazz features a wonderful variety of musical textures and moods, excellent originals, and an interesting selection of standards.

John's debut CD, "Hustle Up!" [KFW 172], was released in 1995 on Tightly Knit Records a subsidiary of Knitting Factory Works. John is also featured on the wonderful recording, "Ron Gill Sings the Songs of Billy Strayhorn" [WGBH 1001] released in December 1997, by WGBH Radio in Boston. John's third release, in 2000, "Portraits and Landscapes" [Jardis Records, JRCD 20029] features Larry Goldings on piano and organ. "Conversation Pieces" [Jardis Records, JRCD 20140] released in January 2002, is John's second collaboration with David "Fathead" Newman. "Interplay," on Azica Records (AJD72226), was released in 2004 and features John with Yoron Israel on drums, and John Lockwood on bass.



Internationally renowned jazz guitarist John Stein was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri USA where he took up his instrument at an early age. His talent for and love of music ultimately earned him a faculty position at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he is a Professor in the Harmony Department.

John has performed as a leader or a sideman with some of America's finest jazz acts. His compositions and performances cover the spectrum of jazz, from blues to bebop to bossas to swing. John has toured in the United States as well as in Brazil, Germany, France and Switzerland.

John is a prolific recording artist and has released many albums as a leader in addition to the contributions he has made to other artists' projects. His newest recording, Wood and Strings [WSC 093], was released in April 2017 by the Whaling City Sound record label.

John has published educational columns in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine for many years that focus on composition and arranging for jazz guitar.

He has compiled the compositional materials into two books that are now available: Composing Blues For Jazz Performance, and Composing Tunes For Jazz Performance. The books are available in a spiral bound version that includes a CD with all the recorded examples, or in digital format for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.

Berklee Press has published John's arranging materials in a book that is now available, entitled: Berklee Jazz Standards For Guitar.

John has long been affiliated with Berklee College of Music and is an experienced teacher, clinician, recording artist, author, and performer.

"My music is the result of a lifetime's involvement with my instrument, the guitar, and many hours studying theory, composition, arranging, and musical history," says John. His warm and deeply expressive creative jazz performances move and excite audiences wherever he appears.

Band Members