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Pat Metheny Unity Band
Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., York Street
Tickets Still Available
This is the last concert of the Summer Concert Series!
Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City.
Metheny's versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. He has been part of a writing team with keyboardist Lyle Mays for more than twenty years--an association that has been compared to the Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn partnerships. Metheny has won countless polls as "Best Jazz Guitarist," three gold records and 18 Grammy Awards 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 an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammies for seven consecutive albums.
Pat Metheny has been touring for more than 30 years, playing between 120 and 240 concerts a year. He uses a variety of guitars; some his own innovation. He plays a six-string electric, a twelve-string electric, a guitar synthesizer (a Roland GR-300) and a 42-string Pikasso guitar. Occasionally he also plays a mini guitar, an acoustic sitar guitar and a baritone guitar.
Pat has put together a very special new band: the Unity Band. The lineup for this band includes sax great Chris Potter, renowned drummer Antonio Sanchez and the up-and-coming young bassist Ben Williams.
Chris Potter was born (1/1/1971) in Chicago, Illinois. His family soon moved to Columbia, South Carolina where he spent his formative years. Potter showed an early interest in a wide variety of different musical styles and easily learned several instruments. He quickly realized, after hearing Paul Desmond, that the saxophone would be the vehicle that would best allow him to express himself musically. He played his first professional jazz gig on alto sax at age 13 after easily mastering the complex musical language of Charlie Parker. Potter has released over 15 albums as a leader and performed as a sideman on more than 150 CD's.
Antonio Sánchez was born (11/1/1971) in Mexico City and started playing drums at the age of five. By his teen years he had already begun playing professionally. He attained a degree in classical piano from the National Conservatory in 1993 and then moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to study at Berklee College of Music. While still at Berklee, Pat Metheny invited Sánchez to join the Pat Metheny Group. Unity is the 5th album Sánchez has recorded with Metheny.
Benjamin James Williams is a 24-year old native of Washington, DC. He also performs on electric bass and piano. His musical influence is rooted in various genres of music including jazz, hip-hop, R&B, gospel and classical. Ben is a recent graduate of the Michigan State University School of Music where he majored in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz.
A special thanks to Gardens’ member Rick Hum for sharing all of these wonderful artist biographies with our visitors throughout the summer. Everyone, time to get up and dance at the last concert of the season!