With over 25 years experience in guitar performance and education, Mike Valeras has garnered a reputation as one of the most respected musicians, composers and guitar instructors in Nashville.
Having honed his skills in the rich, musical breeding ground of the Boston area, Mike earned his B.M. in music education from Berklee College of Music and his M.M. in performance from the University of Massachusetts. In addition, he spent five years under the tutelage of legendary Jazz educator, Charlie Banacos (Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Jeff Berlin).
Mike has worked with many of the industry's most respected musicians, including Steve Vai, John Scofield, Billy Sheehan, Larry Coryell, Keith Carlock, Jeff Berlin, Kirk Covington, Chester Thompson, Ike Stubblefield, Michael Whittaker, Adam Nitti, Wes Little, Brian Allen, Roy Vogt and Bob Harsen.
Mike is an adjunct professor of guitar at Belmont University, and has also served on the faculty at Berklee Guitar Sessions and Guitar Workshop Plus. He is a contributing clinician for the D’Addario Education Collective and offers courses of private study to any musician, artist or writer who wishes to expand their musical vocabulary. Many of Mike's former students have gone on to perform with some of the most well known names in music.
In addition to his sideman work in the Nashville area, Mike continues to push the parameters of modern jazz with his own project, The Mike Valeras Trio, which has released four independent albums and received notable press worldwide.
"This should re-define, or maybe define for the first time, a more vibrant, creative, thinking man's version of fusion that will bear repeated listenings and reveal more with each pass. ...[Mike has] delved deep into a jazz foundation, then mixed in the right amount of non-jazz, but jazz related styles, and at the same time kept the time-honored jazz tratition of blending great soloing with thoughtful and at times spectacular arranging...a winning formula."
- Larry Coryell
"These days former [Lowell] native and songwriter-guitarist, Mike Valeras, makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee. Although he’s living in the country music capital of the world, Valeras continues his quest for dexterous instrumental music that is as highly entertaining as it is gracefully executed. It’s not jazz, it’s not rock & roll and it’s definitely not country but if you think of players like Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck and Mike Stern, you may find yourself in the arena that Valeras is coming from.
Track after track Valeras exhibits a command of the fretboard as well as magnificent dynamics, searing tone and musical virtuosity. Bassists Roy Vogt and Brian Allen, drummer Wes Little (who also tracked the CD) and guitarists Stephen Davis, Chip Henderson and Bryan Clark round up the lineup and all add their amazing talents to this well crafted outing. If you’re a fan of electric guitar, make sure you take a walk down Abbott St. and don’t forget your headphones.”
-Douglas Sloan/Metronome Magazine-Boston
"I love what the Boston native has put together on his latest album. On Abbott St., Valeras displays a ton of talent – and a lot of swagger to boot. Stylistically, I am not sure what box you would put him in. He kind of runs the gamut on this collection. On the opening title cut, he walks the fine line between Blues and Rock – which is a fine showcase for his talents. It has a groove that might also remind you of 70′s and 80′s TV theme song work. Barney Miller came to mind on that cut, and if you remember how cool that sounded, you know I mean that as nothing but a compliment. The album segues into some jazz grooves on the infectious “Lucky 13,” delivers a scorching blues sound on “Mill City,” takes the Jimmy Webb classic “Wichita Lineman” and slows it down into an enchanting piece of music that will leave you dazed and awed, and invites one to turn the volume up on “Note To Self.” Let this be a note to you….If you love guitar players, find out more about Mike Valeras. This guy is smooth!"
- Chuck Dauphin/Music News Nashville
"Valeras and company illustrate the real promise for the future of Jazz-Rock…Outstanding."
"It's artists like [Mike Valeras] that are honing jazz to a razor sharp edge."