Steve Cardenas (musician)

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Steve Cardenas
Born Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Labels Fresh Sound, Sunnyside, Newvelle
Associated acts Paul Motian

Steve Cardenas is a guitarist who began his career in Kansas City, Missouri and has been part of the New York City jazz community since 1995.[1]

Cardenas was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band (which later became the Paul Motian Octet), and Joey Baron's band, Killer Joey. He is a member of the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Steve Swallow Quintet, Ben Allison Band, John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet and Jon Cowherd Mercy Project. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia, performing at international music festivals, theaters and clubs. He also leads his own trio and has released several recordings as a leader featuring many of his own compositions.[2][3]

He has also worked with Mark Isham, Marc Johnson, Norah Jones, Paul McCandless, Maria Muldaur, Madeleine Peyroux, and Jenny Scheinman.[2]

Cardenas is on faculty at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.[3] He has previously been on faculty at the California Institute of the Arts,[2] Siena Summer Jazz Workshop, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music and Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony. Cardenas is co-author, with editor Don Sickler, of the Thelonious Monk Fakebook, released by Hal Leonard Publishing. The Thelonious Monk Fakebook marks the first time all of Monk's compositions have appeared in one volume, many of them appearing for the first time.


As leader[edit]

  • Shebang (Fresh Sound, 2000)
  • Panoramic (Fresh Sound, 2004)
  • West Of Middle (Sunnyside, 2010)
  • Melody In A Dream (Sunnyside, 2014)
  • Charlie & Paul (Newvelle, 2018)[4]

As sideman[edit]

With Jeff Beal

  • 1991 Objects In The Mirror (Triloka)
  • 1993 Three Graces (Triloka)
  • 1994 Contemplations (Triloka)

With Brandon Fields

  • 1994 Brandon Fields (Positive Music)
  • 1995 A Coffeehouse Christmas

With Paul Motian

With Rebecca Martin

  • 1999 Thoroughfare
  • 2002 Middlehope (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  • 2004 People Behave Like Ballads (Maxjazz)

With Ben Allison

  • 2006 Cowboy Justice (Palmetto)
  • 2008 Little Things Run The World (Palmetto)
  • 2009 Think Free (Palmetto)
  • 2011 Action-Refraction (Palmetto)
  • 2013 The Stars Look Very Different Today (Sonic Camera)
  • 2016 Quiet Revolution (Newvelle)
  • 2017 Layers Of The City (Sonic Camera)

With Jim Campilongo

  • 2010 Orange (Blue Hen)
  • 2014 Dream Dictionary (Blue Hen)

With Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra

With David Brandom

  • 2003 Home
  • 2007 No Way Out (Blujazz)

With Kate McGarry

  • 2001 Show Me (Palmetto)
  • 2005 Mercy Streets (Palmetto)

With others

  • 1992 Premonition, Paul McCandless (Windham Hill)
  • 1993 The Last Romantics, Paul Hanson
  • 1994 Astro Boy Blues, Paul Hanson
  • 1995 From The Street, Tom Coster (JVC)
  • 1995 Homecoming, Paul Hanson
  • 1996 3+3=7, Joel Harrison
  • 1996 Torches On The Lake, Spencer Brewer
  • 1997 From The Edge Of The World, Severin Browne
  • 1998 Who Loves You: A Tribute To Jaco Pastorius, Various Artists (JVC Records)
  • 1999 Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project Mark Isham (Columbia Records)
  • 1999 Just One Of Those Things, Rob Sudduth
  • 1999 Truth Is..., Steve Million
  • 2000 Killer Joey, Joey Baron
  • 2000 See You In Zanzibar, Arthur Kell
  • 2001 Metro, Alexis Cuadrado (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  • 2002 Close Your Eyes...And Listen, Mike Fahn
  • 2003 Voices In The Wilderness, John Zorn
  • 2004 Visual, Alexis Cuadrado (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  • 2005 Give And Go, Donny McCaslin (Criss Cross Jazz)
  • 2005 Music For An Imaginary Play, Sarah Wilson (Evander Music)
  • 2005 Traveller, Arthur Kell (Fresh Sound)
  • 2005 Simple Twist Of Fate, Dave's True Story
  • 2005 Slow New York, Richard Julian (Manhattan)
  • 2007 Song For Anyone, Chris Potter (Sunnyside)
  • 2008 Another Day Bob Claire (Whole Rest Music)
  • 2009 Quake, Mike Holober (Sunnyside)
  • 2011 The Music Of Randy Newman, Roseanna Vitro
  • 2011 Milestone, Adam Cruz (Sunnyside)
  • 2011 Girl Talk, Monika Borzym (Sony)
  • 2012 Seasons: Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Anthony Wilson (Goat Hill Recordings)
  • 2013 I Thought About You, Eliane Elias (Concord)
  • 2013 Into The Woodwork, Steve Swallow (XtraWATT/ECM)
  • 2013 My Place, Monika Borzym (Sony)
  • 2014 Right About Now, Brenda Earle Stokes
  • 2015 Brooklyn, John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet[5]
  • 2015 House Of David, Lea Delaria
  • 2016 Saturday Songs, Chris Cheek (Sunnyside)
  • 2016 Trio Pacific Vol. 1, Matt Slocum (Chandra)
  • 2017 Gateway, Jon Cowherd (Newvelle)
  • 2017 Beckon, Adam Kolker (Sunnyside)
  • 2017 Wake Up Call, Ed Neumeister (MeisteroMusic)
  • 2017 With A Twist, Bria Skonberg (Sony Masterworks)
  • 2017 Last Things Last, Greg Cordez (Bandcamp)


  1. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 1313–. ISBN 978-0-87930-627-4. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott (2013). The great jazz guitarists : the ultimate guide. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6. 
  3. ^ a b Adler, David R. "Steve Cardenas | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Steve Cardenas | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Steve Cardenas | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 

External links[edit]