Steve VaiRock | 2016
After more than 20 years, Steve Vai continues to use unbridled guitar virtuosity and soulful artistry to explore the spectrum of human emotion. From his self-released solo debut album Flex-Able (1984) to his most recent, Modern Primitive (2016), Vai strikes a balance between technical ability and poetic phrasing—Vai’s most influential and best-selling album, Passion and Warfare (1990), expanded the lexicon of rock guitar and ushered in an era of guitar virtuosos in the early 1990s. Vai first stepped into the spotlight in 1980 as a guitarist for Frank Zappa’s band, and throughout his career his creative impulses have been inspired by a deeply held spiritual commitment to improving the world. Vai, who grew up in Carle Place, attended Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1979; in 2000, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music from Berklee. In addition to his solo tour work, Vai is known for his creative live performances with orchestras around the world and for projects such as Vai Academy (his yearly guitar camp).