I'm a Jazz pianist/vocalist, composer and feel very fortunate to have had the good fortune to perform and record this incredible music with many marvelous players both in the US and abroad for about 40 years! .
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Patti Wicks is an outstanding jazz pianist with a highly personal style and a singer with an instantly-recognizable sound. Her singular ability to dig deep inside the meaning of a lyric, distinctive smoky voice, warm personality, she is known for captivating her audiences with her personal and emotional connection. Critics have called her a “musical spellbinder” and “an extraordinary interpreter.” Her consumate musicianship, impeccable taste, emotional depth and love of performing the music have earned her the respect of her fellow jazz musicians, the praise of jazz critics worldwide and the admiration of a constantly expanding audience of devoted fans. As a native of Long Island, N.Y. Patti astounded her parents at the age of three by masterfully going to the piano, closing her eyes and playing the song her mother had just finished playing! She exuded a love for music before she even knew what it was. Though classically trained, Patti grew up hearing and playing all kinds of music. She developed her passion for jazz while attending college at Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam.) She graduated with a degree in music education but was determined to pursue a career in jazz.
Throughout her career of almost four decades, Patti has performed in jazz venues and festivals across the United States and Italy. In addition to leading her own trios, she has worked with jazz luminaries Clark Terry, Larry Coryell, Flip Phillips, Cecil Payne, Frank Morgan and Ira Sullivan; accompanied renowned vocalists Anita O’Day, Sheila Jordan, Giacomo Gates, Rebecca Parris and Carol Sloane.
Though now based in South Florida, Patti continues touring with performances including Jazz Standard, The Metropolitan Room (NYC), Blues Alley (DC), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head SC), The Blue Note (Milan), Alexanderplatz (Rome), The Cape May (NJ), Syracuse Jazz Festival and Italy’s Le Spezia, Livorno, Argo, & Euro Jazz d Ivrea Festivals; The Jazz Cruise, and enjoyed being guest on Marian McPartland’s award-winning NPR “Piano Jazz.”
Patti has recorded 6 CDs which have received superlative reviews from both domestic and International jazz critics. The last four, recorded and released in Italy with Italian bassist Giovanni Sanguineti and drummer Giovanni Gullino. Last year’s release “It’s A Good Day” received the Italian Jazz Award for Best Jazz Album of 2008.
The 7th CD: Patti Wicks Trio: Dedicated To…(Geco Records) released in early spring 2009 features her regular Italian bassist and drummer, with special guest Scott Hamilton, tenor sax. All of Patti’s CD’s gives a portion of its proceeds to ‘The Jazz Foundation of America", recording musicians helping other jazz musicians in need.
Patti thanks Don Payne helping to do "Room At The Top" and co-producing it with me, as it was because of that CD that all the neat good stuff happened after it went up on the Internet thanks to Nich Anderson. :-)
To purchase Patti's CD's and to learn more go to www.pattiwicks.com
Making friends with Patti....
Jaijai: “You have such a unique story Patti, when your parents first saw the type of talent you embodied, what did they do?” Patti: “They immediately looked around for a piano teacher, they saw I had a gift and wanted it to grow in some way. My mom woud play while I was napping and I’d hear her playing Chopin, Dubusse, etc. I was born premature and my eyesight was impaired (I was nearsighted, my eyes didn’t mature, the eyes, heart, lungs are the last to develop). It was a challenging experience for me. I’m sure for a teacher to try a new approach, “not from a book” was challenging as well. I’d be in school and the teacher would play and I would could hear my own personal concert. Pat Kleinmeyer, in Islip, Long Island encouraged me to compose music and improvise with basic theory and harmony. How I learned the notes, my mom was a beautiful painter, she’d use a sketch pad with a caligraphy pen and would make the notes the size of your TV screen so I could read them. When you are a kid, other children can be innocently and tactfully hurtful, calling me “four eyes”, but what that did for me was to give me a view of people in a different way, it gave me a position of compassion, a whole different look at life.
Jaijai: “Did you enjoy all styles of music growing up?
Patti: “Yes, in the 70’s I’d listen to everything from Do-wop, Ray Charles, Broadway scores, “Westside Story”, I’d sing and play the parts, it was fun for me, it wasn’t anything unusual, that’s just ‘what I did’.
Jaijai: “What about a personal life in the midst of all this music”
Patti: “For me, I didn’t think I would be fair to bring children into the world. I enjoy children, my nieces and nephews but didn’t have the desire in my life. I had a “calling”.
Jaijai: “Tell me how you started to travel overseas to Italy?
Patti: “A jazz vocal fan Nick Anderson heard my first CD after joining a site called “Songbirds”. He put up a temporary webpage with the CD cover and some tracks and samples so people could buy it. I met a bunch of nifty people including my bassist in Italy Giovanni Sanguineti, he emailed me and asked me to come to Italy. He put together a tour for the summer of 2003. In July of 2003, The Max Jazz release was coming out so we did festivals and people loved the music and I’ve been going back every year since then. The internet really took my career to another level.
Jaijai: “What was one of the most memorable musical moments you can share with us?”
Patti: “Cecil Payne was one of the most beautiful souls, I was living in Maine, Rudy DeHarack had a club there, he was taking jazz piano lessons from me. He said that he’d love it if he could bring Cecil up to play with my trio at a place called the Grand Auditorium, Cecil had bad eyes and had no health insurance and he was going blind. Cecil being Cecil, the energy he exuded not only on the stage but to the audience, (the audience wasn’t that well versed as to who he was), the level of love and warmth and the musical interaction was such a wonderful exchange. People loved him, he’d always ask me “how are your eyes Patti” ~ I felt so blessed to know him.
Jaijai: “What mentorship do you give your students that leads them to being originators?”
Patti: “I tell them to listen to jazz, classical, don’t just listen to the piano, listen to the bass and horns and don’t think about playing as fast as you can, there is so much you can draw from harmonically, listen to all the wonderful composers, approach it as your vehicle for self expression, don’t be an imitator, have your own voice, do what you feel like doin’, enjoy it and don’t be afraid to be different. I was fortunate to play with great people at a time when musicians could go to a club, sit in and hang, talk and learn from some of the ones making history.”
Jaijai: “Patti, I wish I had the chance to meet you personally, I know that you are familiar with my family and enjoyed their musicianship. After spending quality time with you over the phone, I met a very genuine person, someone who knows their gift and is so dedicated to its expression. Your music speaks for itself, you are such a communicator through your music, you tell stories so many different ways. I am all inspired by being introduced to you and the musical magic that you bring to life. Thank you for the chance to get to know you. I know that you seek to travel the world especially Europe and Japan and that you enjoy playing and recording with gifted players. For those in the network that would enjoy playing with Patti, please reach out to her, for from what you hear, you will go to musical places yet untouched. Thank you for your excellence Patti.”
Patti: “I also thank you for such a beautiful and helpful idea to launch The Jazz Network Worldwide website. You are a dear and an inspiration and a blessing to the Jazz Community!”
For those of you in the West Palm Beach, Florida area, on Friday, August 7, I'll be playing with Susan Merritt's trio at the FireRock, 1 Clematis St. downtown West Palm Beach, Florida from 7:00pm - 10pm. They have great food, friendly staff and we have a great time. Hope you can make it! Thanks for supporting live jazz!
I hope all is well with you! I ran into Jim Van Vorhees a month or so ago and he told me how when you played his church last you welcomed me during your performance and I was not there. I am soooooooooooo sorry. I felt really bad because I totally forgot that yo were playing there. Please keep me posted so that I can see you once you are in our area or close again. Take care and be well!
Hi Patti, I heard 2 of your tracks on The Jazz Networks Main page yesterday. "My Romance" and "My One and only Love". I just loved how you played those songs and thought what a seasoned musician, I would really love to hear more of Patti's piano playing. Its great to connect with you here at TJN. After reading JaiJai's phone interview with you, my wife and I realized, we are also from your home town, good old Long Island. Its A Small World......but I wouldn't want to paint it. LOL How blessed you have been to have worked with Cecil, I have never meet him, but being a reed man, I am very familiar his horn playing and have much respect for him as a sax man as well as a human being. I heard Cecil also performed in the local nursing homes, entertaining the elderly patients. What a beautiful soul he was. If you are planning a trip back to the Island be sure to let us know. Wishing you many Happy Gigs on your Road Ahead. Love from L I - Lou and Eva
Patti, we made it to the Cape and it is soooo gorgeous...temps in the 70s & without humidity. Nights are actually cool. It is very strange to be needing sweatshirts!
Do you know the pianist, David Crohan? He plays at Cafe L'Europe, etc. Each summer he has a Martha's Vinyard gig and we hope to catch him again this year. Hugs back at you, my friend. Diane
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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