Mike Mainieri

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Mike Mainieri
Mainieri in 2016.
Mainieri in 2016.
Background information
Birth nameMike Mainieri
Born (1938-07-04) July 4, 1938 (age 83)
The Bronx, New York, United States
GenresJazz, rock
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, label owner
Instrumentsvibraphone, keyboards
Years active1952–present
LabelsElektra Musician, NYC
Associated actsBuddy Rich, Steps Ahead

Michael T. Mainieri Jr. (born July 4, 1938)[1] is an American vibraphonist, known for his work with the jazz fusion group Steps Ahead.[1] He is married to singer-songwriter and harpist, Dee Carstensen.[2]


He was born in The Bronx, New York, United States.[1] 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.[1] He performed for a live album by Laura Nyro and was featured on several tracks from the Dire Straits album, Love Over Gold (1982),[3] as well as on "Ride Across the River" on the album Brothers in Arms (1985).[4] He performed on the albums Heads by Bob James, Heart to Heart by David Sanborn,[5] and Tiger in the Rain by Michael Franks.[6]

He has also released numerous albums and videos as a leader for a variety of labels, most notably his 1980 album for Warner Bros. titled Wanderlust, which featured Michael Brecker and other members of Steps Ahead.[1] He produced three albums for Carly Simon. Mainieri married singer-songwriter/harpist Dee Carstensen in 1993.


Mike Mainieri with Bendik Hofseth, Cosmopolite Scene, Oslo, 2016.

As leader[edit]

  • Blues on the Other Side (Argo, 1963) (as The Mike Manieri Quartet)
  • Journey Thru an Electric Tube (Solid State, 1968)
  • Insight (Solid State, 1968) (as The Mike Manieri Quartet)
  • Love Play (Arista, 1977)
  • Free Smiles: Live at Montreaux 1978 (Arista Novus, 1978) (with Warren Bernhardt)
  • Wanderlust (Warner Bros., 1981)
  • Man Behind Bars (NYC, 1995)
  • An American Diary (NYC, 1995)
  • Live at the Seventh Avenue South (NYC,1996) (as The Mike Manieri Quartet)[7]
  • An American Diary: The Dreamings (NYC, 1997)
  • Northern Lights (NYC, 2006)
  • L'Image 2.0 (L'Image, 2009)
  • Crescent (NYC, 2010)

with Steps Ahead[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Step by Step (1980)
  • Steps Ahead (1983)
  • Modern Times (1984)
  • Magnetic (1986)
  • N.Y.C. (1989)
  • Yin-Yang (1992)
  • Vibe (1994)
  • Steppin Out (2016)

Live albums[edit]

  • Smokin' in the Pit (1980)
  • Paradox (1982)
  • Live in Tokyo 1986 (1986)
  • Holding Together: Live in Europe 1999 (2002)

As sideman[edit]

With Pino Daniele

  • Medina (RCA, 2001)

With Aerosmith

With Manny Albam

With George Benson

With Stephen Bishop

With Kenny Burrell

With Marc Cohn

With Paul Desmond

With Dire Straits

With Eliane Elias

With Art Farmer

With Michael Franks

With Urbie Green

With Tim Hardin

With Janis Ian

With Bob James

With Garland Jeffreys

With Billy Joel

With Etta Jones

With Mark Knopfler

With Nils Lofgren

With Pat Martino

With Paul McCartney

With Brother Jack McDuff

With Don McLean

With Marcus Miller

With Wes Montgomery

With Laura Nyro

With Buddy Rich

With Linda Ronstadt

With David Sanborn

With Carly Simon

With Paul Simon

With Chris Smither

With Sonny Stitt

With Livingston Taylor

With Tony Orlando and Dawn

With Kazumi Watanabe


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1593. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Garner, Dwight (February 6, 2008). "Living With Music: A Playlist by Meghan Daum". The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Love Over Gold - Dire Straits | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  4. ^ "Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  5. ^ "Heart to Heart - David Sanborn | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  6. ^ "Tiger in the Rain - Michael Franks | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  7. ^ "Seventh Avenue South- Der Jazzclub der Brecker Brothers von 1977-1987". Jazzband-live.de. Retrieved 2020-02-06.

External links[edit]