Pat Metheny named Detroit Jazzfest Artist-in-Residence

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

Pat Metheny, one of the pioneering fusion jazz artists of the 1970s, will be the Artist-in-Residence for this year's Detroit Jazz Festival, according to festival organizers.

Over his 40-year career, Metheny has earned 20 Grammy Awards and sold more than 20 million records.

Metheny will reunite with vibraphonist Gary Burton during Jazzfest in a special quartet with Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez, put together just for the festival. It was in Burton's band in the mid-'70s that Metheny, a native of Kansas City, found national fame.

While fusion is one of the genres he was known for, his style has evolved to encompass many influences.

"Metheny is an incredible artist. He has been a heavyweight in the jazz world for decades and revolutionized what it means to play jazz guitar," said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, in a statement. "His experimentation with sound and style – and jazz itself – truly taps into why this medium can be so moving and inspiring."

Apart from performing on opening night of Jazzfest and several more times throughout the weekend, the guitarist/composer will take part in educational initiatives, including mentoring young metro Detroit musicians in the coming months.

"It's very humbling to not only be asked to perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival, but to also serve as its Artist-in-Residence," said Metheny, in a statement. "I'm honored and look forward to my visits to Detroit, a place with such rich music history."

The Detroit Jazz Festival, the world's largest free jazz festival, takes place on four stages in downtown Detroit over Labor Day weekend, Friday Sept. 4-Monday Sept. 7.

In addition to the reunion with Burton, the Pat Metheny Trio, consisting of Metheny, Colley and Sanchez will be joined by Detroit saxophonist Kenny Garrett at Jazzfest. Metheny will also take part in a larger ensemble, performing, for the first time in North America, his latest 30 minute suite, a tribute to German bassist Eberhard Weber.

Educational events Metheny will take part in will be announced soon. For more information go to