The Kennedy Center

John Patitucci


Bassist John Patitucci, born in Brooklyn in December 1959, worked and lived most of his life in California. During his youth in Brooklyn, he and his brother Thomas were inspired to form their own party band when they heard such groups as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and various Motown artists. Thomas played guitar, and the young John tried the same instrument, but at the age of ten chose the electric bass, and the two performed at rock ‘n roll parties on Long Island. A chance discovery by the boys' grandfather of a discarded box of records that included Thad Jones, Art Blakey, Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith, and Wes Montgomery, gave John Patitucci an enthralling insight into a completely "new" music, jazz. In California during his high school and college years, he honed his skills in various bands, on both acoustic and electric bass.

Soon after moving to Los Angeles, Mr. Patitucci immersed himself in the local jazz scene, where his brilliant bass technique was a distinguishing sound in live performances and in the recording studio with such artists as Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Joe Farrell, Victor Feldman, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Carlton, and Wayne Shorter. In 1985 the then 25-year-old bassist met Chick Corea, who invited him to join his new Elektric Band, a career- and life-changing experience for Mr. Patitucci, who was to remain with Corea for ten years. In just two years, Corea had helped Mr. Patitucci launch his career as a solo artist on the 1987 John Patitucci album, which led to five more on the GRP and Stretch labels.

After meeting and marrying Sachi, a cellist, John Patitucci returned to New York in 1996. His first recording for Concord, the nearly autobiographical One More Angel, for which he played the electric guitar instead of bass, was soon followed by Imprint, and Now. His Concord Records CD Communion (2001) was nominated for a Grammy Award, and he followed it with Songs, Stories and Spirituals (2003), his eleventh album as a leader and his sixth Concord Jazz release.

Mr. Patitucci has worked in a trio with Roy Haynes and Danilo Pérez; recorded and performed in concerts with Wayne Shorter; worked in a quartet with John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine and Bob Mintzer; and appeared with Herbie Hancock, Dave Kikoski, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. He also leads his own band in Manhattan. 

Mr. Patitucci performed in the Terrace Theater on March 7, 2002, as part of Wayne Shorter and Friends. He returned with his trio May 16, 2003 for a KC Jazz Club performance that featured vocalist Luciana Souza.

Last updated: March 1, 2007
John Patitucci