Guitarist Pat Metheny to Serve as Third Herb Albert Professor
Back in 1974, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny was a talented 19-year-old at Berklee, far from an uncommon sight at the college. But there was an important difference between Metheny and his peers - Metheny was a teacher. When his stint as a pedagogue ended, Metheny went on to become one of the most versatile and innovative guitarists active today, as well as one of the most successful. As a solo artist and as leader of the Pat Metheny Group, Metheny has won 21 Grammy Awards; he's also garnered three gold records and frequently tops Best Jazz Guitarist polls. But now, as Berklee's newest Alpert Professor, Metheny is picking up where he left off in Boston.
"There is a huge difference in my level of experience as a player since the days that I taught at Berklee in the early '70s," Metheny says. "I feel like I will be able to communicate a lot of the practical things I have learned myself from playing so much over the past 30 years or so. I really am looking forward to the opportunity to work with some of the younger players that are developing their own ideas about music."
Metheny follows Berklee alumnus and Grammy Award-winning arranger Alan Broadbent '69 and bassist, extraordinaire Abraham Laboriel, Sr., as the third faculty member appointed through the Herb Alpert Visiting Professor Program. The program was established through the support of the Herb Alpert Foundation, the philanthropic organization launched by A&M Records cofounder and seven-time Grammy-winning recording artist Herb Alpert. As an Alpert Professor, Metheny will teach at Berklee two weeks for each academic year of a three-year commitment, and he says he's looking forward to working with the next generation of jazz pioneers. He says they've got a lot to offer, not just as musicians, but as shapers of cultural identity.
"I am anxious to really sit down and talk with some of these talented guys about the larger issues, about what the actual function of playing can offer the culture at large," Metheny says. "Jazz remains an important resource for the creative flow of how our culture develops - even if it does seem to appear to be somewhat on the fringes of things. The research that young jazz guys are doing will have an impact on the way music evolves over the next few generations - it always does."