Pat Metheny 20-time Grammy Award–winning guitarist is returning to Australia with his Unity Band for the first time in two decades. Known for his dizzyingly complex and dynamic musicianship, he is very much a legend amongst the pantheon of prog jazz gods.
The Pat Metheny Unity Group may be his most accomplished and ambitious project yet, a combination of his human collaborators – Chris Potter, Antonio Sánchez, Ben Williams and Giulio Carmassi – and the Orchestrion: a gargantuan, guitar-controlled electromechanical orchestra that Metheny personally designed and created.
Born in Kansas City into a musical family, Metheny started on trumpet at the age of 8, before switching to guitar at 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, displaying 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, Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilising new technologies and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.
Metheny has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock and David Bowie, and has won countless polls as Best Jazz Guitarist.
“A master class in the art of jazz guitar… one of the world’s most enduring, prolific and celebrated players.” Vancouver Sun
The band features at this year's Melbourne Festival and will be touring to other capital cities.
Oct 20 Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Brisbane, Australia
Oct 22 Hamer Hall Melbourne, Australia
Oct 23 Canberra Theatre Canberra, Australia
Oct 24 Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia