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Interviews with leading musicians on today's scene presented by Mike Jacobs and Chris Cooke.

An Interview with Pat Metheny

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Pat Metheny is one of the most widely known and celebrated guitarists in jazz. He is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works, and other side projects. Metheny has three gold albums and 20 Grammy Awards, and is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and bandleader.

Guitarist Pat Metheny has done much to shape the direction of the instrument. Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at a very young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974, refining his soon-to-become trademarked playing style with vibraphone great Gary Burton on a three year stint. 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 utilized new technology and is constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument. Metheny was one of the first artists 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 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 for musicians.

Over the years, Pat Metheny has worked with artists as diverse including Jaco Pastorius,  Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, David Bowie and many others. Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical. 

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke recently spoke with Pat Metheny via phone. In a wide ranging conversation, Metheny talked about his latest recording with his trio, PAT METHENY SIDE-EYE NYC (V1.IV). Metheny also discussed highlights from his career, as well as the legendary guitarist that most influenced him, and the lessons that he hopes to impart to aspiring music students. Click on the link for the interview(Interview editor:Chris Cooke/KIOS).