John Patitucci was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959 and began playing the electric bass at age ten. He began performing and composing at age 12, at age 15 began to play the acoustic bass, then started the piano at age 16. He quickly moved from playing soul and rock to blues, jazz and classical music. His eclectic tastes caused him to explore all types of music as a player and a composer.
John studied classical bass at San Francisco State University and Long Beach State University. In 1980, he continued his career in Los Angeles as a studio musician and a jazz artist. As a studio musician, John has played on countless albums with artists such as B. B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Was Not Was, Dave Grusin, Natalie Cole, Bon Jovi, Sting, Queen Latifah and Carly Simon. In 1986, John was voted by his peers in the studios as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences MVP on Acoustic Bass.
As a performer, John has played throughout the world with his own band and with jazz luminaries Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, Nancy Wilson, Randy Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Hubert Laws, Mulgrew Miller, James Williams and scores of others. Some of the many pop and Brazilian artists he has played with include Sting, Aaron Neville, Natalie Cole, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Milton Nascimiento, Astrud and Joao Gilberto, Airto and Flora Purim, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco and Dori Caymmi.
John has worked with film composers Jerry Goldsmith, Ry Cooder, James Newton Howard, Dave Grusin, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Mark Isham, Michel Colombier, Carter Burwell and Howard Shore.
Since 1985, his association with Chick Corea has brought him worldwide acclaim and put him at the forefront of the jazz world. His many recordings with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band, his six solo recordings for GRP Records and his subsequent recordings have brought him two Grammy Awards (one for playing and one for composing) and over fifteen Grammy nominations. In addition, his first solo recording, John Patitucci, went to number one on the Billboard Jazz charts. John arranged and produced all of his own records as well as those of other artists. In 1996, he signed with Concord Jazz and has released seven records on their label. Two recent recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards in the composition category.
John has won many magazine polls for his electric and acoustic bass playing, including Best Jazz Bassists in Guitar Player Magazine’s 1992, 1994 and 1995 Readers’ Poll and Best Jazz Bassist in Bass Player Magazine’s 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 Readers’ Poll.
In 2002, following the retirement of Ron Carter, John began teaching at The City College of New York and is now a full Professor of Jazz Studies. John is a frequent clinician and guest lecturer at schools around the world and a regular featured performer at the International Society of Bassists conventions. In 2010, John began his involvement with the Berklee School of Music’s Global Jazz Institute, spearheaded by pianist Danilo Perez.
In the past two years, John has continued to tour with the Wayne Shorter Quartet and also worked with McCoy Tyner, Kenny Werner, Danilo Perez and many others. John’s own band has continued to perform both internationally and the United States to great acclaim. John has had several premieres of his chamber music compositions lately, including at the Chelsea Music Festival in New York in July 2011 and BargeMusic in Brooklyn, also in 2011. In April 2012, John’s piece Fantasy on a River Theme was premiered at Jordan Hall in Boston with John as soloist with the Berklee College of Music