Guitarist Steve Cardenas began his musical career in Kansas City and has been an integral part of the New York City jazz community since 1995.

Steve has performed and recorded with many well-known and highly esteemed musicians. Notably, he was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, the Steve Swallow Quintet, as well as Joey Baron‘s, Killer Joey. Steve is currently a member of Ben Allison and Think Free, John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet,  Jon Cowherd Mercy Project and Adam Nussbaum Lead Belly Project. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia, performing at international music festivals, theaters and clubs. Steve also leads his own trio and has released four recordings as a leader. His most recent album, Charlie & Paul, was released on Newvelle Records last year.

Steve is also a well-respected educator. He is on faculty at The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City where he directs the Thelonious Monk Ensemble, Improv Ensemble and the Guitar Duos class, as well as offering individual lessons. He has also been on faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, Siena Summer Jazz Workshop, Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, Stanford Jazz Workshop and Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Steve most recently joined the online guitar study program, Guitar Mastery Intensive, as a mentor.

Additionally, Steve is co-author, along with editor Don Sickler, of the Thelonious Monk Fakebook, 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.




Blue Has A Range Sunnyside Records (new release!)
Charlie & Paul Newvelle Records
Melody In A Dream
Sunnyside Records
West Of MiddleSunnyside Records
PanoramicFresh Sound New Talent Records
Shebang – Fresh Sound New Talent Records


Lead Belly Reimagined – Adam Nussbaum, Sunnyside Records
Somewhere Else
 – Ted Nash, Plastic Sax Records
Hiding Out – Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Zoho Records
The Lead Belly Project – Adam Nussbaum, Sunnyside Records
Layers Of The CityBen Allison, Sonic Camera Records
GatewayJon Cowherd, Newvelle Records
Beckon Adam Kolker, Sunnyside Records
Quiet Revolution – Ben Allison, Newvelle Records & Sonic Camera Records
Wake Up Call – Ed Neumeister & His NeuHat Ensemble, MeisteroMusic Records
With A Twist – Bria Skonberg, Okeh Sony Masterworks
Last Things Last – Greg Cordez, (independent release)
Trio Pacific, Vol. 1 – Matt Slocum, Chandra Records
Saturday SongsChris Cheek, Sunnyside Records
BrooklynJohn Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet, Three Faces Records
The Stars Look Very Different Today – Ben Allison, Sonic Camera Records
Dream Dictionary Jim Campilongo, Blue Hen Records
Into The Woodwork – The Swallow Quintet, XtraWATT/ECM records
I Thought About YouEliane Elias, Concord Jazz Records
I Never Meta Guitar Too – various artists, Clean Feed Records
My PlaceMonika Borzym, Sony Music
Seasons: Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of ArtAnthony Wilson, Goat Hill Recordings
Action-Refraction – Ben Allison, Palmetto Records
MilestoneAdam Cruz, Sunnyside Records
Girl Talk – Monika Borzym, Sony Music
Think Free – Ben Allison, Palmetto Records
Orange – Jim Campilongo, Blue Hen Records
Offering Matt Marantz, (independent release)
Quake – Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Sunnyside Records
Little Things Run The World – Ben Allison & Man Size Safe, Palmetto Records
No Way Out – David Brandom, Blujazz Records
Song For AnyoneChris Potter 10, Sunnyside Records
Cowboy Justice – Ben Allison, Palmetto Records
Give and GoDonny McCaslin, Criss Cross Jazz
Slow New YorkRichard Julian, Manhattan Records
Music For An Imaginary PlaySarah Wilson, Evander Music
Garden Of Eden – Paul Motian Band, ECM Records
Not In Our Name – Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Verve Records
Traveller Arthur Kell Quartet, Fresh Sound New Talent Records
Mercy StreetsKate McGarry, Palmetto Records
VisualAlexis Cuadrado Sextet, Fresh Sound New Talent Records
People Behave Like Ballads Rebecca Martin, Maxjazz
Home – David Brandom, (independent release)
Holiday For Strings – The Paul Motian E.B.B.B., Winter & Winter Records
Show Me – Kate McGarry, Palmetto Records
Middlehope – Rebecca Martin, Fresh Sound New Talent Records
Close Your Eyes And ListenMike Fahn, Sparky1 Productions
Metro – Alexis Cuadrado, Fresh Sound New Talent Records
Europe – The Paul Motian E.B.B.B., Winter & Winter Records
See You In Zanzibar – Arthur Kell, (independent release)
Killer Joey – Joey Baron, (independent release)
Monk and Powell – The Paul Motian E.B.B.B., Winter & Winter Records
Who Loves You: A Tribute To Jaco Pastorius – Various artists, JVC Records
Miles Remembered: The Silent Way ProjectMark Isham, Columbia Records
From The Street – Tom Coster, JVC Records
Raising The Standard – New York Guitar Trio, Midi Inc. Records
Brandon Fields Brandon Fields, Positive Music Records
10/10: Tribute to Thelonious Monk – Duo with pianist John Beasley, MMP Records
Contemplations Jeff Beal, Triloka Records
The Last Romantics Paul Hanson, Midi Inc. Records
Three Graces – Jeff Beal, Triloka Records
Premonition Paul McCandless, Windham Hill Records