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Leni Stern, who has received more recognition for her composing than her guitar playing, has managed to carve out her own musical personality despite being married to fellow guitarist Mike Stern (a potentially dominant influence). She began classical piano lessons when she was six, but was much more inspired a few years later when she discovered a guitar in the attic and taught herself to play jazz. Stern's early years were actually spent as an actress in her native Germany, featured on a national television show. However, she took a summer off in 1977 to enroll at Berklee, and she never returned to acting. Stern lived in Boston until 1980, moved to New York, and has worked steadily in clubs ever since, recording for Passport (now defunct), Enja, and Lipstick. Primarily an instrumentalist in the past, with 1997's Black Guitar she revealed her prowess as a vocalist, and began releasing a series of albums that mixed jazz, pop, and rock on her own LSR imprint, including Kindness of Strangers (2000), Finally the Rain Has Come (2002), When Evening Falls (2004), and Love Comes Quietly (2006). ~ Scott Yanow