Mike Mainieri

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Mike Mainieri
Mike Mainieri Cosmopolite (204846).jpg
Mainieri in 2016
Background information
Born (1938-07-04)July 4, 1938
New York City
Genres Jazz, social music, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, label owner
Instruments Vibraphone
Years active 1952–present
Labels Elektra Musician, NYC
Associated acts Buddy Rich, Steps Ahead
Website www.nycrecords.com

Michael T. Mainieri, Jr. (born July 4, 1938, the Bronx, New York City) is an American vibraphonist known for his work with the social music group Steps Ahead.


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. 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]

  • Wanderlust (Warner Bros., 1980)
  • Love Play (Arista, 1977)
  • Free Smiles: Live at Montreux 1978 (Novus)
  • Blues on the Other Side (Argo, 1963)
  • Journey Thru an Electric Tube (Solid State, 1968)
  • Insight (Solid State)
  • Crescent, (NYC, 2010)

With Steps Ahead

  • Step by Step, 1980
  • Steps Ahead, (Elektra Musician, 1983)
  • Modern Times, (Elektra Musician, 1984)
  • Magnetic, (Elektra, 1986)
  • N.Y.C., (Capitol, 1989)
  • Yin-Yang, (NYC, 1992)
  • Vibe, (NYC, 1994)
  • Smokin' in the Pit, (NYC, 1980)
  • Paradox, (1982)
  • Live in Tokyo 1986, (NYC, 1986)
  • Holding Together, (NYC, 1999)

As sideman[edit]

With Manny Albam

With Kenny Burrell

With Paul Desmond

With Art Farmer

With Urbie Green

With Pat Martino

With Buddy Rich

With Sonny Stitt


External links[edit]