Straddling the musical world as few other bassists have, John Patitucci’s solo, session, composing and collaborative work has encompassed everything from classical and Afro-Cuban to blues, pop and jazz. His association with Chick Corea during the ‘80s assured his international fame, and he remains one of the world’s most consummate players.
Born in 1959 in New York, John Patitucci started playing electric bass at the age of ten, beginning to compose and perform soon afterward. He extended his skills to acoustic bass in his mid-teens, also learning the piano. Having studied classical bass at universities in California, he became a sought-after studio musician and jazz artist in the Los Angeles area during the ‘80s, recording and performing with top artists as diverse as B B King, Dizzy Gillespie, Bon Jovi, Stan Getz, Sting and Astrud Gilberto, as well as working with top film composers like Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams.
Joining Chick Corea’s Elektric and Akoustic Bands in 1985 put him at the forefront of the jazz world, as have his many highly acclaimed solo albums which along with his recordings with Corea earned him two Grammy awards and no fewer than eight nominations. His first album, simply titled John Patitucci, topped the Billboard Jazz charts. The ‘90s were a particularly rich period for awards, not least being voted Best Jazz Bassist four years in a row, from ’93 to ’96, by Bass Player magazine. John also has close links with teaching, including involvement with the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz and as Artistic Director of the Bass Collective, a school for bassists in New York, where John moved back to in 1996.
As well regularly touring with his group, the John Patitucci Quartet, he composes for many mediums outside conventional band formats. In 1994, for instance, he was commissioned to write a piece for six-string electric bass with the Italian chamber orchestra Suono e Oltre, a work also later performed with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo.
Recent times have seen Patitucci working again with the legendary Wayne Shorter, as well as touring the US as part of an all-star quintet led by Herbie Hancock and featuring Michael Brecker among its members. John has also been performing with his own quartet, promoting his latest album, Communion.