A performance by Mike Stevens is always a genre-bending explosion of ideas and influences. His talent is as unorthodox as his career trajectory. As an innovative, ground-breaking, Performer, Educator and Author Mike Stevens’ influence continues around the world.
Mike has released 9 albums from traditional Bluegrass to Acoustic Blues to Free Jazz to Canadian Fiddle tunes to Rocking Experimental music. With over 300 shows on the World Famous Grand Ole Opry stage and countless performances around the world, Mike continues to Breathe in the World and Breathe out Music.
Through many years of touring with Bluegrass Legends Jim and Jesse and The Virginia Boys and The Lewis Family, Mike created his spot in history by pioneering the harmonica in Bluegrass music. Mike’s often copied style of playing is documented in a best selling book Bluegrass Harmonica which is distributed around the world by Hal Leonard publishing.
When Mike plays, the harmonica becomes a musical paintbrush with no limits. It could be a traditional performance at The Carter Fold (the Carter Family homeplace) with long time friend Raymond McLain or an Avante Garde Soundscape performance at the Eastman Mansion with Magnum photojournalist Larry Towell.
In 1999 Mike started going into some of Canada’s most troubled Northern communities. He would load up with harmonicas and head into the bush looking for young Gas sniffers. When he found them, he would hand out harmonicas and start a friendship. Over the years, Mike has started instrument lending libraries with donated musical instruments in many of the communities. Eventually, Mike founded ArtsCan Circle a non profit organization dedicated to Youth at Risk across Canada’s North. These experiences resonate in Mike’s music.