I look forward to working on several new projects with Cantor Phil Baron and other Fellows of the Institute in the coming year and on a long-term basis.
From being an actor on Broadway to helping poor farmers in Africa become self-sufficient, Mike Stein has touched many lives.
At age 19 he was in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway and went on to be in the original cast of two other shows, “Soon” and “Dude” by the writers of Hair. After moving to Washington DC to work for the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976, he married his wife Kelley and started to raise a family.
He played fiddle in The United States Navy Band for 17 years and was in a Presidential Support Unit, playing at the White House regularly for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. His patriotic song, “We Are With You” was published by Warner/Chappel and was played on radio stations around the world. While in the Navy, he recorded children’s albums for RCA/Caedmon and the Rounder Kids labels.
His albums have won Parent’s Choice and National Library Association awards. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1999 for his own composition “Dreamosaurus” and won one in 2005 for his piece “Rushing Around Russia,” on “cELLAbration”, a compilation CD with Pete Seeger, Riders in the Sky, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Tom Chapin.
He also recorded fiddle for Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jonathan Edwards and Tom Paxton. He was a regular on the Nashville Now Show and played on the Grand Ol’ Opry. After retiring from the Navy in 1996, he traveled extensively with many different groups, including Craig Taubman, and the Robyn Helzner Trio.
He started his career as a cantor at Bnai Tzedek Synagogue in Potomac, MD in 1990. In 2000, he became the cantor at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, Calif.
Mike credits his father for teaching him to be a cantor by simply taking him to shul a whole lot. Mike joined the Cantors Assembly in 2001 and has been using his extensive experience to write prayer services in many different styles including, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Jazz and Bluegrass. His wife Kelley and three sons (all musicians in their own right) Jacob, Justin and Jared have their own group called the “Rolling Steins.”