Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Cardenas, Steven (Abelardo)

Cardenas, Steven (Abelardo), guitarist; b. Kansas City, MO, 5 February 1959. He was raised by parents Abelardo & Uba Cardenas and he had three siblings, Susan, Alan, & Carolyn, none of them musicians. He has a son, Adam (b. 1998). Steven studied privately with guitarist Danny Embrey (late ' 76 / early ' 77) and pianist John Elliott (late ' 77 / early ' 80) while in Kansas City. He attended Shawnee Mission South High School (1974-77), where big band and music theory classes were part of the curriculum. Classes were led by Jim Cochran and Marie Lerner respectively. Subsequently attended Johnson County Community College and was in big band for two years (1977-79) led by conductor Jim Smith.

Cardenas has diverse credits as a performer and recording artist. Having started his musical career in Kansas City, he is now an integral part of the jazz community in New York.

Cardenas has backed up such greats as Eddie Harris, Marilyn Maye, Jay McShann, and Slide Hampton. He has played at various jazz festivals throughout Europe including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on three separate occasions. In recent years he regularly performed with such diverse artists as Maria Muldaur, Paul McCandless of the group Oregon, trumpeters/composers Mark Isham and Jeff Beal, bassist Marc Johnson, and newcomer Norah Jones. Currently he is a member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, as well as a quartet led by drummer Joey Baron called "Killer Joey". In addition to this, he leads his own trio performing at various venues around New York City.
Along with his performing and recording experience, Cardenas is a private instructor with the New School in New York and was invited by California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as guest faculty for the winter/spring semester 2003. Previously, Steve has taught at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, and has also led jazz workshops at Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camps.

Shebang (1999), Panoramic (2002)

As sideperson:
Various artists: Kansas City Jazz Spectrum (1978); Gary Foster: Kansas City Connections (1985); Ida McBeth: Now Here It Is (1986); Paul McCandless; Premonition (1991); Jeff Beal; Objects In The Mirror (1991); Alex Murzyn: Alex Murzyn (1991); Windham Hill Sampler w/ Paul McCandless: The Bach Variations (1993); Paul Hanson: The Last Romantics (1993); Jeff Beal: Three Graces (1993); Severin Browne: From The Edge Of The World (1994); Duo w/ John Beasley: 10/10, Tribute to Thelonious Monk (1994); Paul Hanson: Astro Boy Blues (1994); Jeff Beal: Contemplations (1994); Kalani: Pangea (1994); New York Guitar Trio: Raising The Standard (1995); Tom Coster: From The Street (1995); Dave Glenn: Little Big Band (1995); Brandon Fields: Brandon Fields (1995); Joel Harrison: 3 + 3 = 7 (1995); Kalani: Insights (1995); Rob Suddeth: Just One Of Those Things (1997); The Paul Motian E.B.B.B.: Monk and Powell (1998); Rebecca Martin: Thoroughfare (1998); Peter Ecklund: Reminiscing In Music (1998); Steve Million: Truth Is (1998); Various artists: Who Loves You, A Tribute To Jaco Pastorius (1998); Mark Isham: Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project (1999); Arthur Kell: See You In Zanzibar (2000); Joey Baron: Killer Joey (2000); The Paul Motian E.B.B.B.: Europe (2000); Various artists: The Music of Eric von Essen Vol. III (2000); The Paul Motian E.B.B.B.: Holiday For Strings (2001); Alexis Cuadradro: Metro (2001); Mike Fahn: Close Your Eyes and Listen (2001); Rebecca Martin: Middlehope (2001); David Brandom - Home (2002); Kate McGarry: Show Me (2002); Rebecca Martin: People Behave Like Ballads (2004); Alexis Cuadrado: Visual (2004)

Unissued recordings:
Played on various recording projects that were either locally released or not released for use as a demo (1977-84, 1987-1990)

Sessions at W. 54th Street w/ Mark Isham and the Silent Way Project, PBS (1999)

Guitar Player magazine article, November 1998.
Worked on Thelonious Monk Fakebook
Websites w/ profiles - freshsoundrecords.com; allmusic.com; songtone.com; guitarsite.com

Contact information:

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