The Spring Issue of our Festival will be a two-day event this year: The Wooten Brothers on May 16, Mike Stern Band on May 21

16 May 2024 THE WOOTEN BROTHERS / MMC Bratislava

Victor, bass, Joseph, keyboards, Roy, drums, Regi, guitar. For over four decades, the Wooten Brothers have been known as the most talented and dynamic brother band the jazz world has ever known. Since their youth, they have been a touring powerhouse, always redefining the boundaries of jazz, funk, soul, R&B, rock and bluegrass. They made their debut as The Wootens in the mid 80's while still a five piece. Now they're embarking on their first tour together since the untimely death of their fifth brother, saxophonist Rudy, in 2010.

The most famous of the brothers is bassist Victor Wooten, a five-time Grammy Award winner who is considered one of the best living bassists, often compared to Jaco Pastorius. Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the ten best bassists of all time. 

Joseph Wooten has a dizzying list of talents that is impressive even by the standards of the Wooten clan. Currently the keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band, he is a songwriter, motivational speaker, and a fantastic singer. He has worked with stars like Whitney Houston and Kenny G, has his own band, and assists his younger brother as keyboardist, singer, and songwriter in The Victor Wooten Band. 

Famed drummer and percussionist Roy "Futureman" Wooten is also a five-time Grammy Award winner, and along with Victor, was a founding member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Roy is best known for his frenzied, inimitable performances on stage, which he enhances with his surreal choice of instruments: his signature inventions are The Drumitar and the RoyEl keyboard. His impressive solo career and Black Mozart projects transcend the genres of classical, jazz, soul, gospel and spoken word.

Regi "Teacha" Wooten's distinctive guitar style of chords, slapping, tapping and furious strumming has earned him worldwide fame, even comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Chuck Berry. Regi is known as "The Teacha" - he has taught many notable musicians, teaching his little brothers Joseph and Victor when he was just 9 years old himself.

Together, The Wooten Brothers bring an extraordinary level of experience, originality and musical knowledge to the stage. Their performances are a high-energy, super-fun blend of styles including original songs and classics. In short: these brothers are real big shots and their concert is not to be missed.

21 May 2024 MIKE STERN BAND / MMC Bratislava

Mike Stern comes to Spring Jazzworks with a phenomenal line-up: Dennis Chambers, drums, Hadrien Feraud, bass, Bob Franceschini, saxophone and Leni Stern, who plays the n'goni and sings in addition to guitar.

Mike Stern is one of America's finest and best-known guitarists, also known as the bebop wizard. He got his start in Blood, Sweat and Tears and with Billy Cobham. Since 1981, he has played alongside Miles Davis. Their playing together lasted several years, interrupted only by Stern's tour with the brilliant Jaco Pastorious. 

Under Davis' influence, Stern's debut album, Neesh, was released, launching his career as a soloist and bandleader. Since then, he's been a jazz superstar, with numerous Grammy nominations to his credit and a respectable list of world-renowned bandmates - in addition to the aforementioned, names like David Sanborn, Steps Ahead, The Brecker Brothers, Marcus Miller, Mino Cinelu, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, and Roy Hargrove.

Saxophonist Bob Franceschini is best known as a longtime bandmate of Mike Stern and from The Yellowjackets on. During his career he has also played with superstars such as Tito Puente, Richard Bona, George Benson, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Lionel Richie, and Marcus Miller. Along with drummer Dennis Chambers, he was a member of the famous trio with Victor Wooten.

Stern's longtime bandmate, drummer Dennis Chambers also played with other brilliant musicians such as John Scofield, George Duke, the Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, and Maceo Parker. His groove is immortal - based in fusion jazz, funk, and Latin music.

French bassist Hadrien Feraud has been performing since 2002, touring, recording, and collaborating with jazz greats such as John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Bireli lagrene, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lee Ritenour, Hiromi, Marcus Miller, Richard Bona, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Billy Cobham, and Dave Weckl.

Over the past decades, Leni Stern has combined her long-honed jazz sound with a deeply felt exploration of West African styles. She has traveled and studied extensively in Mali and Senegal, where she performed with iconic vocalist Salif Keita. The guitarist and singer moved to Boston from her native Munich nearly fifty years ago: she formed her first band with Bill Frisell, her first solo albums were produced by Hiram Bullock, and subsequent albums featured guest appearances by artists such as John McLaughlin and Michael Brecker. Leni Stern is the wife of Mike Stern.