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 the Ben Allison Band, John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet,  Jon Cowherd Mercy Project and Adam Nussbaum Lead Belly Project. He has also performed with such diverse artists as Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Paul McCandless, Madeleine Peyroux, Norah Jones, Eliane Elias and Marc Johnson. Steve has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia, performing at international music festivals, theaters and clubs. He also leads his own group and has released seven recordings as a leader. Healing Power - The Music Of Carla Bley is Steve's latest release, in an ongoing trio collaboration with Ben Allison and Ted Nash, on Sunnyside Records.

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, Begues Jazz Camp, Segunda Residencia Antonio Sánchez, Alternative Guitar Summit Camp, Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, Stanford Jazz Workshop and Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. 

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.



Healing Power - The Music Of Carla Bley - Sunnyside
Blue Has A Rang
e - Sunnyside

Charlie & Paul - Newvelle
Melody In A Dream - Sunnyside
West Of Middle - Sunnyside
Panoramic - Fresh Sound New Talent
Shebang - Fresh Sound New Talent


Tell The Birds I Said Hello - The Music Of Herbie Nichols - Allison, Cardenas & Nash, Sonic Camera
New Year - duo with Jim Campilongo, Sunnyside
Drop The Rock - Greg Joseph & The Right Back, Sunnyside
Moments Inside - Ben Allison, Sonic Camera
Kimbrough - various artists, Newvelle
What I Meant To Say - Steve Million, Origin
Magnolia - Greg Cordez, Ropeadope
Guitar Talk - Joel Harrison, AGS Recordings
It Happens Like That - Katherine Kostoff, independent release
Lead Belly Reimagined - Adam Nussbaum, Sunnyside
The Women Who Raised Me - Kandace Springs, Blue Note
Somewhere Else: West Side Story Songs - Ted Nash, Plastic Sax
Brooklyn Eye - Joachim Mencel, Origin
Hiding Out - Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Zoho
The Lead Belly Project - Adam Nussbaum, Sunnyside
Layers Of The City - Ben Allison, Sonic Camera
Time/Life - Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Impulse!
Gateway - Jon Cowherd, Newvelle
Beckon - Adam Kolker, Sunnyside
Quiet Revolution - Ben Allison, Newvelle & Sonic Camera
Wake Up Call - Ed Neumeister & His NeuHat Ensemble, MeisteroMusic
With A Twist - Bria Skonberg, Okeh Sony Masterworks
Trio Pacific, Vol. 1 - Matt Slocum, Chandra
Saturday Songs - Chris Cheek, Sunnyside
Brooklyn - John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet, Three Faces
The Stars Look Very Different Today - Ben Allison, Sonic Camera
Dream Dictionary - Jim Campilongo, Blue Hen
Into The Woodwork - The Swallow Quintet, XtraWATT/ECM
I Thought About You - Eliane Elias, Concord Jazz
I Never Meta Guitar Too - various artists, Clean Feed
My Place - Monika Borzym, Sony Music
Seasons: Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art - Anthony Wilson, Goat Hill
Action-Refraction - Ben Allison, Palmetto
Milestone - Adam Cruz, Sunnyside
Girl Talk - Monika Borzym, Sony Music
Think Free - Ben Allison, Palmetto
Orange - Jim Campilongo, Blue Hen
Offering - Matt Marantz, independent release
Quake - Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Sunnyside
Little Things Run The World - Ben Allison & Man Size Safe, Palmetto
No Way Out - David Brandom, Blujazz
Song For Anyone - Chris Potter 10, Sunnyside
Cowboy Justice - Ben Allison, Palmetto
Give and Go - Donny McCaslin, Criss Cross
Slow New York - Richard Julian, Manhattan
Music For An Imaginary Play - Sarah Wilson, Evander Music
Garden Of Eden - Paul Motian Band, ECM
Not In Our Name - Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Verve
Traveller - Arthur Kell Quartet, Fresh Sound New Talent
Mercy Streets - Kate McGarry, Palmetto
Visual - Alexis Cuadrado Sextet, Fresh Sound New Talent
People Behave Like Ballads - Rebecca Martin, Maxjazz
Home - David Brandom, independent release
Holiday For Strings - The Paul Motian E.B.B.B., Winter & Winter
Show Me - Kate McGarry, Palmetto
Middlehope - Rebecca Martin, Fresh Sound New Talent
Close Your Eyes And Listen - Mike Fahn, Sparky1 Productions
Metro - Alexis Cuadrado, Fresh Sound New Talent
Europe - The Paul Motian E.B.B.B., Winter & Winter
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
Who Loves You: A Tribute To Jaco Pastorius - various artists, JVC
Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project - Mark Isham, Columbia
From The Street - Tom Coster, JVC
Raising The Standard - New York Guitar Trio, Midi Inc.
Brandon Fields - Brandon Fields, Positive Music
10/10: Tribute to Thelonious Monk - Duo with John Beasley, MMP
Contemplations - Jeff Beal, Triloka
The Last Romantics - Paul Hanson, Midi Inc.
Three Graces - Jeff Beal, Triloka
Premonition - Paul McCandless, Windham Hill