Pat Metheny’s “Orchestrion” To Mesmerize NJ Audiences With 3 Dates + Free Stuff For Jazzville, NJ Readers!

Posted by Maria Miaoulis in Jazz Events, News

September 25th, 2010   1 Comment »

Pat Metheny standing, surrounded by the mechanized instruments that make up his Orchestrion tour.

Pat Metheny redefines the term "solo concert" with his Orchestrion Tour, blowing through NJ in early October. Here, he stands surrounded by the multitudes of mechanized instruments that share the stage with him.

“Metheny’s Orchestrion is nothing short of spectacular… Endlessly fascinating and visually dazzling.” – Kansas City Star

Wow, the Kansas City Star’s review certainly caught my attention! And since Jazzville NJ’s sophisticated readers are always hot on the pulse of the latest jazz happenings, you probably already know about this tour which kicked off earlier in the year. What you might not have known is that Metheny’s Orchestrion Tour will be gracing NJ audiences with three dates in early October.

For those who don’t know who Metheny is or what an orchestrion does, allow me to explain:

Who Is Pat Metheny?

Well, he’s a Kansas-born guitar player who’s only been revolutionizing the jazz scene for the last thirty years! Fascinated by music as a child, he learned to play the trumpet and guitar before he was 12. His skills earned him a teaching position the University of Miami at age 18. A year later he became the youngest teacher for the famed Berklee College of music. His big break came when he joined jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton’s band. With this experience and his incredible talent, Metheny recorded his debut album in 1976. The rest is history as they say…

The Musical Pioneer

Metheny has never been content with playing it safe. He constantly pushes boundaries, discovering new sounds and technological developments. His use of the twelve-string electric, six-string electric, guitar synthesizer and 42-string Pikasso guitar has forever changed the jazz, blues and electric rock genres. He also dabbles in fusion and country in addition to countless other styles, giving his fans an always-changing repertoire of eclectic material to ponder over.

As you can see, the 17-time Grammy Award winner and 3-time Gold Record honoree definitely sets himself apart from mainstream jazz musicians.

What Is Orchestrion?

An orchestrion is a mechanized system designed to play music in such a way that it sounds like a complete orchestra. Metheny first encountered one in his grandparents’ basement and was always fascinated by its intricate workings. So with a team of inventors, he developed his own orchestrion of custom-made instruments including several pianos, guitar bots, a drum kit, electric bass, calliope pipes and a bottle ensemble made of bottles blown with air.

This is the basis of Metheny’s latest release, “Orchestrion” – a project he says he’s learned a lot from. “Within this new environment, I found something in there that took me to some new places,” he said.

It looks like he meant that both figuratively AND literally. He’s been on a worldwide tour since the beginning of the year, mesmerizing audiences with a show that’s been called a “feast for the eyes, ears and soul.” And lucky for us, he’s coming to our area in early October! That’s right – three performances for NJ audiences:

Thu,10/7 McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ Details & Tickets
Fri,  10/8 Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ Details & Tickets
Sat, 10/9 Community Theatre, Morristown, NJ Details & Tickets

Judging from the reviews that have been coming in, this is certainly a not-to-be-missed event.

Some additional resources for further study:

To hear Orchestrion for yourself, check out:

To see Orchestrion in action, check out:

What about the free stuff we were promised?

Ok – here goes. The generous folks on Pat Metheny’s promotions team have sent us some great stuff to give away to the wonderful readers of Jazzville, NJ. Up for grabs are two official concert T-shirts and one hot-off-the-presses copy of Pat’s latest release titled “Orchestrion” of course!

Here’s how to enter: Follow us on Twitter & tweet us with the following message:

“@jazzvillenj I want to win free Pat Metheny stuff!”

Three Twitter followers will be randomly be selected on Wednesday, October 6th to win one item each. Winners will be notified via Twitter.

Good luck and don’t forget to buy your Orchestrion tickets ASAP! If you’re going to the Englewood show, drop us a line. We’d love to meet up.

Check out some great promo shots for the Orchestrion Tour: