One of the premier guitarists of his generation, the three-time Grammy nominee was born on January 10, 1953 in Boston. After growing up in Washington D.C., he returned to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music and got his start as a guitar player with Blood, Sweat & Tears at the age of 22. Following a stint with Billy Cobham's powerhouse fusion band from 1979-1980, Mike moved to New York City and was recruited by Miles Davis and played a key role in his celebrated comeback band of 1981 (which also included bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Al Foster, percussionist Mino Cinelu and saxophonist Bill Evans). During his three-year period with Miles, Mike appeared on three recordings with the jazz maestro - Man With The Horn, Star People and the live We Want Miles. From 1983 to 1984, he toured with Jaco Pastorius' Word of Mouth band and in 1985 returned to Miles' lineup for a second tour of duty that lasted close to a year.
In the summer of 1986, Stern went out on the road with David Sanborn and later joined an electrified edition of Steps Ahead which featured Mike Mainieri on midi vibes, Michael Brecker on the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI), Darryl Jones on electric bass and Steve Smith on drums. Stern made his first recording as a leader for the Japanese Trio label (1985's Neesh) before making his debut on Atlantic Records in 1986 with Upside Downside, featuring such celebrated colleagues as Sanborn, Pastorius, saxophonist Bob Berg, bassists Mark Egan and Jeff Andrews, keyboardist Mitch Forman and drummers Dave Weckl and Steve Jordan. From 1986 through 1988, Mike was a member of Michael Brecker's potent quintet, appearing on Don't Try This At Home. Stern's second Atlantic album, 1988's Time In Place, continued the promise of his debut. He followed that in succession with 1989's Jigsaw and 1991's Odds Or Evens, both of which ably showcased his legendary guitar prowess and musicality. During this period he also formed a touring group with saxophonist Berg that included drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Lincoln Goines. They remained a working unit from 1989 to 1992, at which point Stern joined a reunited Brecker Brothers Band, appearing on 1992's Return of the Brecker Brothers. (Other notable sideman credits include work with the late, great tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and the recent live recording 4 Generations of Miles, in which the guitarist joins with other Miles Davis alumni George Coleman on tenor sax, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Ron Carter on bass).