THE MIKE STEVENS, HISTORY:
Michael William "Mike" Stevens, born 26 January 1957, is a British musician (saxophone, keyboards, guitar, vocals). He is best known as Take That's musical director.
Stevens began music lessons on the clarinet and piano and was encouraged by his father, who was a professional drummer. Stevens studied composing and conducting at the Birmingham School of Music between 1975 and 1979, before working on cruise ships as a performer. In the 1980s he moved to London and became a sought-after saxophonist; he was signed to RCA Records in the United states and began touring with artists such as Barry White, Brenda Russell, Dionne Warwick and The Temptations. In 1988 he toured with Bill Withers, eventually becoming Withers's musical director.
In 1992, Stevens was hired to work with newly-formed pop group Take That, becoming their musical director the following year. He toured with the group until their split in 1996, playing keyboards, saxophone and guitar as well as backing vocals. His work with Take That made him an in-demand a musical director for other touring pop groups; he subsequently directed Eurythmics, Mika, Sugababes, James Morrison, Will Young, Geri Halliwell, Boyzone, B*Witched, 911 and Five. Upon Take That's reformation in 2006, Stevens was re-hired as their musical director, employing musicians such as Milton McDonald, Lee Pomeroy, Donovan Hepburn, Bernie Smith, and Marcus Byrne to create the live band. Stevens has supervised or performed at events such as Live 8 in London, The Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute Concert, and concerts for The Prince's Trust.
Stevens has been Annie Lennox's musical director and producer since 2002, producing the gold-certified albums A Christmas Cornucopia (2010) and Nostalgia (2014), both of which charted in the top ten in the UK and US album charts. Nostalgia was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014.
In 2012, Stevens led the house band and was musical director for the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, and two years later directed Jeff Lynne's ELO at BBC Radio 2's Hyde Park festival in 2014, using the Take That/Gary Barlow band and the BBC Concert Orchestra to accompany Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy. Stevens had previously worked with Jeff Lynne at the Children in Need Rocks 2013 concert, where Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy performed "Livin' Thing" and "Mr. Blue Sky" accompanied by Stevens and the Take That/Gary Barlow band.
Stevens has been a touring member of 10cc since 1999, playing keyboards and saxophone.
Mike played with Children in Need Rocks 2013, when Jeff Lynne's ELO played among other artists.
Matt Round - bass
Mel Lewis - backing vocals
Mike played with Jeff Lynne's ELO at the Live in Hyde Park 14 sep. 2014.
The BBC Concert Orchestra
Mike was on leadguitar on the Jeff Lynne's ELO "Alone in the universe" tour 2016.