Pat Kelley

“The first time that I heard a guitar, it must have signaled to me that I would have an insatiable love affair with the instrument for my entire life.” I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play guitar or consider myself a guitarist. Maybe it was a past-life experience that taught me how to sense melody, rhythm and phrasing from the beginning. I could play with others and follow their lead even at a young age. This is Pat’s early memories. Pat was able listen to the sounds of the guitar and his Dad often played it around the house. He grew up in Tulsa in Oklahoma and enjoyed the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. “Dad had a 5-tube Bendix radio that played country music and early pop hits.” He also heard the likes of The Ventures, Chet Atkins and Patsy Cline. Bob Wills’ iconic western swing music was infused with blues and had a profound impact on Pat’s guitar playing style. Pat was 12 years old when he formed his first band. He continued to play in bands throughout his adulthood. He was inspired by Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery and Howard Roberts to learn jazz early on. This set him on the path to study jazz guitar and studio work when he arrived in California in the early 1970s. There were many opportunities in California’s music scene in the seventies. Pat quickly became a touring and session guitarist. He also began to develop his skills as a composer/songwriter and started learning recording techniques from different engineers. Along with Miles Davis, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane, he was attracted to a newer generation guitarists like George Benson, Pat Martino and John McLaughlin. He would go on tour with George Benson for almost five years, record with Chick corea, and share the concert stage with Miles Davis, Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock two decades later. Now, it’s the 21st century and the guitar is still a central part of Pat’s activities. The greatest teacher has been recording ten albums as a leader and working on hundreds of sessions for television, commercials, records, and motion pictures. Pat is also the author of more than 100 songs, which have been commercially released. He has performed in more than 30 countries, including at the Hollywood Bowl, Montreux Jazz Festival and London’s Wembley Arena. Some of Pat’s collaborators include Natalie Cole, George Benson and Ronnie Laws. San Francisco, San Diego and Houston are some of the cities where you can see Symphony Orchestra performances. Induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame was a great honor. He joins the ranks of previous inductees Charlie Christian and Barney Kessel, Chet Bak, Oscar Pettiford. Taj Mahal and Dave Brubeck are also inducted. Pat is currently a full-time teacher in the Studio/Jazz Guitar department of the USC Thornton School of Music. He has been teaching for twenty years. Mel Bay Publications published two of Pat’s books (Arpeggios For The Evolving Guitarist u0026 Melodic Minor Guitar) as part of the USC instructional guitarist book series. Pat will return to the University of Tulsa Jazz Camp for the fourth time in 2013. Pat is also a keen musician and teaches workshops and music clinics at colleges and venues across the country. Pat is also the founder of Artsong Studios, and the Artsong Music CD Label. Engineering and producing are also a significant part of Pat’s work. Pat’s new CD, Overtones 4 Two Guitars, will be released on July 1, 2014. It features nine guitar duets with nine well-known guitarists. from

Leave a Comment