Pat Smith - Guitarist/Arranger/Composer/Producer Hailing from Evanston, Illinois, guitarist Pat Smith has played at some of Chicago's hottest blues clubs, and countless bar and restaurant gigs from coast to coast. He spent his formative years playing everything from folk and blues to disco and country. Pat moved to Northern California in 1987 to find some folks to play jazz with. In California he founded the highly original Quartet Io, and perfected his technique with a string of Bay Area blues bands. In 1994 Pat founded the critically acclaimed Penguin Jazz Quartet. The Penguin's second CD, On Ice, went to #6 on Berkeley's KALX FM in 1998, and made KCCK's top 20 for 1999. The PJQ were also favorites at KCSM's Jazz on the Hill and at the Healdsburg Music Festival. Pat began playing music as a child, and cites the Beatles and Howard Roberts as early inspirations. In junior high, Pat discovered his mother's record stash, which included the Howard Roberts classic "HR is a Dirty Guitar Player." "It's still a favorite," says Pat. "I also got into Lenny Breau around 1975 and his playing changed my life. I don't play like him, but he is always in my approach to the instrument." Pat played in the jazz band at Coe College, and received his degree in music composition from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Pat's list of guitar teachers includes such notables as Guy Van Duser, Lenny Breau, Ron Eschete, Joe Diorio, and Ted Greene. With Brazilian singer Raquel Coelho, Pat was a co-founder of Nossa Bossa, a Brazilian jazz quintet garnering rave reviews throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
Pat now lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa and plays in a duo with Bassist Rich Wagor. Pat writes the Eclectic Guitar column for Premier Guitar. EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a Guitar player. I started in 1969 when I finally got the guitar I had wanted since seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Meanwhile I had gone through tap dancing, Piano, Clarinet and Bassoon lessons which, at the time weren't what I was interested in. I played in garage bands through high school in Evanston Il. I also played in the E.T.H.S Jazz band my senior year. In the summer of 1975 I was sent off to Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa where I played in the Jazz Band the first year and in the Swing Choir the second year. Like many youthful bums, I was more interested in playing guitar and girls than I was in studying. It was during this time that I started my main vocation of playing in dive bars, I still consider myself a "Bar Guitarist." So, after two years I went back to Evanston. I pursued assorted things, more school, Guitar building, and teaching. I have been very lucky to have studied with some wonderful and inspiring pickers, I have taken seminars or lessons with Ken Bloom, David Bloom, Howard Roberts, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, Ron Eschete, Ted Greene, Joe Diorio, Jethro Burns, Guy Van Duser, and John Stowell. I also spent some time taking Sitar lessons with Som Mujumdar. I have played in many styles which has been both good and bad. Good because it's fun to try on different hats and bad because I never really got down to one style. In 1987 we moved to California and I started to concentrate on Jazz. I played with a fusion band called Io and some assorted Blues bands. Then, around 1994, my hearing having faded a bit, I started having bad headaches after I would play a gig and had to give up loud music. I started a band called The Penguin Jazz Quartet to play quiet Jazz. The PJQ disbanded this year and I am currently playing in a wonderful Brazilian band called Nossa Bossa. I am also playing in an Organ Trio with Bill Walker and Keith Wald and starting a new world music project.
Skip all that other current stuff. I am in Iowa playing duets with Bassist Rich Wagor
Visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/patsmithiowa?ref=profile
Lenny Breau, BB King, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Benny Goodman, Beatles, Jim Hall, Allman Bros, ECM records, Tower of Power, James Brown, Roy Buchanan, Ravi Shankar, Howard Roberts
The PJQ songs were recorded at Music Annex in Menlo Park, CA. The engineer was Tom Carr. My Guitar is a THC made by Tom Holmes and played through an AER Tramp amp. The piano is a Yamaha.
I also have a wonderful Lowden Baritone, several Teles, Gibson ES330, and a shiny new Gallagher A70. I love my Carr amps
JazzGuitarLife.com Interview with Pat Smith: This interview was conducted via email May, 2004.