Don Stiernberg recently began his fifth decade as a working musician. Along the way he has been involved in many musical activities: performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching, but is best known for his mandolin playing. Born and still based in Chicago, the mandolin found Don as he grew up “out in the woods” in the nearly-rural suburb of Wauconda, IL. A desire to make music with his banjo and guitar playing brother led Don to appropriate a mandolin that had been given to him. Things came into focus both mandolin and life-wise when his parents sent Don to study with Jethro Burns, famous comedian (Homer and Jethro)and the greatest mandolinist of his time. From the very first lesson, Burns was more than a teacher. He was role model, hero, mentor, and friend, and Stiernberg was hooked and hooked bad on the mandolin.His earliest professional experience was in a bluegrass band with his brother (The Morgan Bros.)and a bit later in The Jethro Burns Quartet.
Currently Don is regarded as a leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, and a respected teacher. The most recent of his nine recording projects is “Good Numbers”, a collection of standards and jazz tunes played by his working band, The Don Stiernberg Trio. Also released in 2016 were three online video instructional courses for Soundslice.com. The trio has performed coast to coast as well as in Germany and Brazil. Don also conveys his love of the mandolin and music at events such as The Mandolin Symposium (CA), The Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Django in June (MA), Mandolin and Guitar Camp North (MA), Steve Kaufman Acoustic Camp (TN), River of the West Mandolin Camp (OR), Cape Cod Mandolin Camp (MA), Ashokan Swing Week (NY), Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino (Italy), European Mandoline Akademy (Germany)and Momento Rio Bandolim (Brazil).