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While still in his teens, Don Stiernberg learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his "graduate student", hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted forty years.
A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles. The most recent of these is "Mandoboppin'!" , a jazz quintet CD featuring his original tunes. Also released in 2013 is "Jazz Mandolin Appetizers", a long awaited method book for improvising mandolinists, issued by Mel Bay.
In addition to touring coast to coast and abroad, Don stays busy around his native Chicago with performing and recording work. He also contributes a regular column to Mandolin Magazine, and has been an instructor at mandolin events such as The Mandolin Symposium, Swannanoa Gathering, Mandolin Camp North, River of the West Mandolin Camp, Cape Cod Mandolin Camp, Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, Ashokan Swing Week, Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino (Italy), European Mandoline Akademy (Germany) and Momento Rio Bandolim (Brazil).