Sept. 20, 2007
Pat Metheny Trio performs in UI Hancher Auditorium Oct. 10
The Pat Metheny Trio, led by the most honored guitarist in contemporary jazz, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.
The winner of 16 Grammy Awards and a perennial poll winner as "best jazz guitarist," Metheny will be joined in this concert by superstar bassist Christian McBride and Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez, who is the regular drummer in the Pat Metheny Group. The trio has just completed a new recording, which will be released in February.
Metheny (photo, left), a native of Missouri, took up guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, and he burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974 when he was invited to join the band of vibraphone great Gary Burton.
By then he had already developed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility, plus a distinctive package of electronic effects -- a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded in the jazz tradition of melody, swing and the blues.
With the release of his first album, "Bright Size Life," in 1975, he reinvented the traditional jazz guitar sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by using new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.
Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Milton Nascimento, Brad Mehldau, Derek Bailey and David Bowie. He has been part of a writing team with keyboardist Lyle Mays for more than 20 years -- an association whose creative output has been compared to the Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn partnerships.
Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras and ballet, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.
Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator. At 18, he was the youngest teacher ever at the University of Miami. At 19, he became the youngest teacher ever at the Berklee College of Music, where he also received an honorary doctorate more than 20 years later. He has taught music workshops all over the world, from the Dutch Royal Conservatory to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz to clinics in Asia and South America.
He has also been a pioneer in the realm of electronic music, and was one of the first jazz musicians to treat the synthesizer as a serious musical instrument. Years before the invention of MIDI technology, Metheny was using the Synclavier as a composing tool.
And he has been instrumental in the development of several new kinds of guitars, including the soprano acoustic guitar, the 42-string Pikasso guitar, Ibanez's PM-100 jazz guitar and a variety of other custom instruments.
His Pat Metheny Group claims three gold records -- "(Still Life) Talking," "Letter from Home" and "Secret Story" -- and his 16 Grammy Awards are spread out over a variety of different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo and Best Instrumental Composition. The Pat Metheny Group won Grammies for an unprecedented seven consecutive albums.
KCCK, "Iowa's Jazz Station," recently named Metheny one of the five most influential jazz artists of the last three decades.
The Oct. 10 concert by the Pat Metheny Trio is supported by The Gazette, through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets for the Pat Metheny Trio are $55/50/45; UI student $49.50/15; senior citizen $49.50/45/40.50; youth $38.50/35/31.50.
Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Tickets may be ordered online 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.
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