February 1, 2022
In previous blogs, we’ve looked at some local musicians who are well known within select music circles, but who are not necessarily household names. We’ve also looked at some famous Missouri musicians who are from other parts of the state. Now let’s look at two of our local talents who also happen to be brothers.
Well known in the jazz world, Pat and Mike Metheny are from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Mike continued the family tradition of playing trumpet/flugelhorn and is known as both a jazz musician and music journalist, while Pat is still actively playing jazz guitar in concerts around the world.
As the older of the two, Mike is known as an exceptional soloist and has experienced a varied musical career. He toured with the U.S. Army Field Band, taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has recorded 12 solo albums. He was honored as the Outstanding Brass Player at the annual Boston Music Awards and has appeared on numerous jazz recordings as a contributing artist.
As a writer, Mike has contributed to KC Magazine, JAZZIZ Magazine, and The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover’s Guide to the U.S. and is a former editor of Kansas City’s Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM). He is the current chairman of the Metheny Music Foundation. You can listen to some of his recordings through Freegal Music.
Pat’s jazz guitar skills are legendary, and he may be one of the most recognized and admired contemporary jazz guitarists. His compositions show a wide range of musical interests, as they are written for everything from solo guitar to large orchestras and encompass not only jazz and rock but even classical themes.
As a teen, Pat was recognized as an extraordinary talent and began playing with local bands. By the time he was 18, he taught at the University of Miami, and then, a year later, at Berklee College of Music. He is the driving force behind the Pat Metheny Group and has contributed to the development of several custom instruments. Due to his continuing search for new expression and musical texture, he is known to include instruments not usually found in jazz ensembles.
Many rock and jazz guitarists name Pat as someone who has influenced their style. He has received 20 Grammys in 10 categories, which is a unique accomplishment. At one point, the Pat Metheny Group received seven consecutive Grammys for seven consecutive albums, which is an unprecedented achievement. Pat has won many polls as “Best Jazz Guitarist” and has three gold records. Among his many honors, he has received honorary degrees from several universities and has been inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, and has been named the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.
You can learn more about Pat and his contributions through his CDs and streaming music as well as other online resources. You can also find his information and music in the Library’s resources, such as Jazz Music Library, General OneFile, Fine Arts, Biography, Research for Middle Schoolers, and Freegal Music.
Who are some of your favorite local musicians?
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