This Week In Music

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It's hard to define virtuoso guitarist and composer Patrick Bruce "Pat" Metheny by any specific musical genre, since he has been so inventive in so many during the course of his career. Hailing from Lee's Summit, Missouri, Metheny has developed music that contains elements of progressive jazz, Latin jazz, jazz fusion, as well as techniques and tones from rock.

Etude EAS-100 Student Alto SaxophoneHis musical family started Metheny on a trumpet at age 8, but he switched to guitar when he was 12. By the time he was 15, Metheny was working on a regular basis with the jazz musicians in Kansas City where he learned to infuse his playing not only with the jazz tradition but also with a rhythmic and harmonic approach usually associated with horn players.

Metheny cites such influences as Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Brazilian music, and The Beatles as having major impacts on his music. In addition to being an accomplished composer and musician, Metheny at age 18 was the youngest teacher at the University of Miami, and at 19 repeated that feat by becoming the youngest instructor at the Berklee College of Music. He has also taught music workshops and clinics all over the world.

Metheny was one of the first jazz guitarists to regularly use the Roland GR-300 Guitar Synthesizer to create his rich, resonant instrumental sound. He also helped develop guitars like a soprano acoustic, a 42-stringed beast called the Pikasso, the PM100 semi-hollow jazz guitar for Ibanez, and several other custom instruments.

In addition to his long-time collaboration with keyboardist Lyle Mays, Metheny is known his for work with the Pat Metheny Group. Over the years his work has met with the approval of fans, critics, and fellow musicians. Metheny has won numerous "Best Jazz Guitarist" polls, three gold records—for Still Life (Talking), Letter from Home, and Secret Story—and 18 Grammy Awards, including seven consecutive Grammys for seven consecutive albums. So far in his career, Metheny has been nominated in 12 Grammy categories and won in 10 of them—a feat unmatched by any other performer in the music industry.


Legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman's professional career got under way in 1923 when he was at the tender age of 14. Already in possession of his union card, Goodman accepted a job as a clarinet player on a Chicago-based excursion boat on Lake Michigan.

One story has it that on this same excursion famous horn player Bix Beiderbecke ordered the "kid in the short pants" off the bandstand. Other versions have it that during this first run in with Beiderbecke, Goodman received tips for phrasing, intonation, and breathing from the older man that he incorporated into his playing style. One thing is for sure—Goodman had started his musical career and never looked back.


Week of August 01, 2011
Event: The Army of France Adds Saxophonesto its Military Bands

Birthday: Tony Bennett, August 3, 1926

Week of July 18, 2011
Event: First Newport Jazz Festival

Birthday: Carl Fontana Born July 18, 1928

Week of July 11, 2011
Event: "His Masters Voice" Trademark Registered

Birthday: Bélla Fleck Born July 10, 1958

Week of July 5, 2011
Event: Benny Goodman and His Band Record "Sing, Sing, Sing"

Birthday: Pinetop Perkins Born July 7, 1913

Week of June 27, 2011
Event: Cab Calloway and His Orchestra Record "St. James Infirmary""

Birthday: Pete Fountain Born July 3, 1930

Week of June 20, 2011
Event: 19 Year-Old Arturo Toscanini Conducts the Rio de Janeiro Orchestra in a Performance of "Aida"

Birthday: Lalo Schifrin Born June 21, 1932

Week of June 13, 2011
Event: New York Jazz Museum Opens

Birthday: Marcus Miller Born June 14, 1959

Week of June 06, 2011
Event: Jelly Roll Morton Records "Jelly Roll Blues" As a Piano Solo

Birthday: Bill Watrous Born June 08, 1939

Week of May 30, 2011
Event: 1962 Bandleader Benny Goodman Leads The First American Jazz Band to Play In The Soviet Union

Birthday: Benny Goodman Born May 30, 1909

Week of May 23, 2011
Event: "In a Precursor to Outdoor Rock Festivals, Ray Charles and B.B. King Perform For 9,000 Fans in Atlanta

Birthday: Miles Davis Born May 26, 1926

Week of May 16, 2011
Event: "When The Saints Go Marching In" Recorded by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra

Birthday: Woody Herman Born May 16, 1913

Week of May 2, 2011
Event: New York's Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center Announces Addition of Rock, Pop, and Jazz Concerts

Birthday: Maynard Ferguson Born May 4, 1928

Week of April 25, 2011
Event: At Decca Studios Charlie Parker Made His First Commercial Recording April 30, 1941

Birthday: Duke Ellington Born April 29, 1899

Week of April 18, 2011
Event: Pipeless Organ Patented by Laurens Hammond April 24, 1934

Birthday: Tito Puente Born April 20, 1923

Week of April 4, 2011
Event: Herp Alpert Born April 4, 1939

Birthday: Freddie Hubbard Born April 7, 1938

Week of March 28, 2011
Birthday: Michael Brecker Born March 29, 1949

Birthday: Herp Alpert Born March 31, 1935

Week of March 14, 2011
Event: Joseph Haydn's Surprise Symphony Is Performed for the First Time March 23, 1792

Birthday: Johann Sebastian Bach Born March 21, 1685

Week of March 7, 2011
Event: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians Recorded Auld Lang Syne March 7, 1939

Birthday: Leon Bismark (Bix) Beiderbecke March 10, 1903

Week of February 28, 2011
Event: Miles Davis Records "Kind of Blue" on Columbia Records March 2, 1959
Birthday: Frédéric Chopin Marc 1, 1810

Week of February 21, 2011
Event: Duke Ellington Records "The Queen's Suite"
Birthday: Dexter Gordon February 27, 1923

Week of February 14, 2011
Event: Sonny Rollins Records his Title Track "The Bridge" February 14, 1962
Birthday: Buddy DeFranco February 17, 1923

Week of February 7, 2011
Event: Rhapsody in Blue is Performed for the First Time February 12, 1924
Birthday: Marion "Buddy" Childers February 12, 1926

Week of January 31, 2011
Event: Frank Sinatra Debuts on Radio's "Your Hit Parade" February 6, 1943
Birthday: Stanley "Stan" Getz February 2, 1927

Week of January 24, 2011
Event: Original Dixieland Jazz Band Makes the First Jazz Record January 30, 1917
Birthday: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart January 27, 1756