Mainieri was a pioneer in introducing an electronic vibraphone, known as a "synth-vibe" and has recorded with such musicians as Buddy Rich, Wes Montgomery and Jeremy Steig. He performed for a live album by Laura Nyro, and was featured on several tracks from the Dire Straits album Love Over Gold as well as on "Ride Across the River" on the album Brothers in Arms. He performed on the albums "Heads" by Bob James Heart To Heart by David Sanborn and Tiger in the Rain by Michael Franks. He has also released numerous albums and videos as a leader for a variety of labels, most notably his 1980 album for Warner Bros. entitled Wanderlust, which featured Michael Brecker and other members of Steps Ahead. There is good video footage of Mainieri performing live with David Sanborn, Neil Larsen, Robben Ford, etc. on David Sanborn's Live At Montreux 1984 DVD as part of bonus footage from 1981.
As a producer, he produced three albums for Carly Simon.
Mainieri married singer-songwriter/harpist Dee Carstensen in 1993. They have a daughter, Ruby Anna, and two sons, Mike Mainieri III and Jonathan Mainieri.
- Wanderlust (WB 1980)
- Love Play 1977
- Blues on the Other Side (Argo, 1963)
- Journey Thru An Electric Tube (Solid State)
- Insight (Solid State)
With Kenny Burrell
- A Generation Ago Today (Verve, 1967)
With Paul Desmond
- Summertime (A&M/CTI, 1968)
With Art Farmer
With Urbie Green
- The Fox (CTI, 1976)
With Pat Martino
- Starbright (Warner Bros., 1976)
With Buddy Rich
- Playtime (Argo, 1960)
With Sonny Stitt
- Yanow, Scott. "Mike Mainieri". AllMusic. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- Official web site
- Mike's featured page on the Party Of The Century international music project
- Mike Mainieri interview at allaboutjazz.com