Pat Metheny Unity Band

Boarding House Park
40 French Street
Lowell, MA Venue Information
Buy Tickets Friday August 3, 2012 7:30 PM
  
$45 in advance / $55 day of concert



Pat Metheny's Unity Band is:

Pat Metheny, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams and Chris Potter

Pat Metheny

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, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed 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 - a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional "jazz guitar" sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny's versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. 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 by critics and listeners alike. Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.

As well as being an accomplished musician, 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 twenty years later (1996). He has also 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 true musical pioneer in the realm of electronic music, and was one of the very 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. He has also been instrumental in the development of several new kinds of guitars such as the soprano acoustic guitar, the 42-string Pikasso guitar, Ibanez's PM-100 jazz guitar, and a variety of other custom instruments.

It is one thing to attain popularity as a musician, but it is another to receive the kind of acclaim Metheny has garnered from critics and peers. Over the years, Metheny has won countless polls as "Best Jazz Guitarist" and awards, including three gold records for (Still Life) Talking, Letter from Home, and Secret Story. He has also won 18 Grammy Awards spread out over a variety of different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, Best Instrumental Composition. The Pat Metheny Group won an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammys for seven consecutive albums. Metheny has spent most of his life on tour, averaging between 120-240 shows a year since 1974. At the time of this writing, he continues to be one of the brightest stars of the jazz community, dedicating time to both his own projects and those of emerging artists and established veterans alike, helping them to reach their audience as well as realizing their own artistic visions.

Antonio Sanchez

Born in Mexico City on November 1st, 1971, he started playing drums at the age of 5 and began performing professionally early in his teens. He pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico and in 1993 he moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee College of Music and graduated Magna Cum Laude in Jazz Studies. Since his move to New York City Antonio has become one of the most sought after drummers in the international jazz scene. He has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz including Pat Metheny (He's a member of the Pat Metheny Group and the Pat Metheny Trio with Christian McBride), Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden, Gary Burton and Toots Thielmans. He regularly collaborates with some of the most prominent names of the newer generation of Jazz: Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Paquito D'Rivera, Kenny Werner, Marcus Roberts, Avishai Cohen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Miguel Zenon, Scott Colley, Dave Samuels, Luciana Souza, Billy Childs, and Claudia Acuna just to name a few. In 2007 he recorded his first solo effort entitled Migration. The album includes a stellar cast of some of today's most renowned jazz musicians: Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Chris Potter, David Sanchez and Scott Colley. It has gotten rave reviews from different publications all over the world. All About Jazz calls it "One of the best debuts of 2007." Antonio's interest in education has taken him around the globe performing clinics, drum festivals and master classes. Some of these festivals include the "Modern Drummer Festival Weekend", "Zildjian Day" and the "Montreal Drum Festival" among many others. He has also been the featured cover artist in some of the most widely read drum magazines in the industry like "Modern Drummer" (USA), "Percussioni" (Italy), "Drums and Percussion" (Germany) and "Musico Pro" (USA). In addition, Antonio joined the Faculty at the prestigious New York University (NYU) in 2006. He's endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Sticks (Antonio's Signature model), Evans Drumheads and LP Percussion (which carries Antonio's Signature Percussion Kit). He's made New York City his home since 1999.

Ben Williams

"Its low frequency attracted me," Williams recalls of his introduction to the upright acoustic bass, "the way the instrument felt when I touched it. Then later, just the feeling of playing a groove. When you play a bass the whole instrument vibrates. It almost feels like the spirit of another human being. It's like dancing with somebody and being in full contact with them. And the sound of the instrument appealed to me. It's warm and deep and it resonated with me."

Ben Williams is one of the most sought after bassists in the world, his resume a who's who of jazz wisdom: Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride Big Band, Nicholas Payton, Paquito D'Rivera, Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Golson, George Duke, Eric Reed, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roy Hargrove, and Mulgrew Miller, to name a few.

Ben's warm, woody tone, flowing groove, melodic phrasing, and storytelling approach has found favor among musicians, but also a larger audience. A bandleader, musical educator, composer, and electric and acoustic bassist, Ben was the winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, a prestigious and important award that has propelled many a promising career. Working with New York's finest jazz musicians even before graduating from Juilliard, Williams showcased his band, Sound Effect, at The Jazz Gallery in New York, receiving an enthusiastic New York Times review. Writer Nate Chinen stated "Williams took several long solos in his first set at The Jazz Gallery . . . and each one felt more like an entitlement than an indulgence." Williams has recorded and performed regularly as a member of bands led by saxophonist Marcus Strickland, pianist Jacky Terrasson, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris. He's led his own groups at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Harlem Stage, Rubin Museum of Art, Tribeca PAC in New York City, and SPAC in Saratoga Springs, NY. His first CD is State of Art.

Chris Potter

A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Down Beat called him "One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet" while Jazz Times identified him as "a figure of international renown." Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply, "one of the best musicians around," a sentiment shared by the readers of Down Beat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine's 2008 Readers Poll.

A potent improviser and the youngest musician ever to win Denmark's Jazzpar Prize, Potter's impressive discography includes 15 albums as a leader and sideman appearances on over 100 albums. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his solo work on "In Vogue," a track from Joanne Brackeen's 1999 album Pink Elephant Magic, and was prominently featured on Steely Dan's Grammy-winning album from 2000, Two Against Nature. He has performed or recorded with many of the leading names in jazz, such as Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, John Scofield, the Mingus Big Band, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Dave Douglas, Ray Brown and many others.

His most recent recording, Ultrahang, is the culmination thus far of five years' work with his Underground quartet with Adam Rogers on guitar, Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes, and Nate Smith on drums. Recorded in the studio in January 2009 after extensive touring, it showcases the band at its freewheeling yet cohesive best.


Find more info at: http://www.patmetheny.com/index.cfm




 

Lowell Summer Music Series
67 Kirk Stret
Lowell, MA 01852
978-970-5200

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