Born in 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, John Patitucci began playing the electric bass at age ten. He quickly moved from playing soul and rock to blues, jazz and classical music. John began composing and performing at age twelve. At age fifteen, he began to play the acoustic bass and at age 16 began the piano. 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, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Was Not Was, Dave Grusin, Natalie Cole and Bon Jovi. 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, he has played throughout the world with his own band, and with jazz luminaries Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, 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, 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 Columbier, 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, and his six solo recordings for GRP Records have brought him two Grammy awards (one for playing and one for composing) and eight Grammy nominations. In addition, his first solo recording, John Patitucci, went to number one on the Billboard Jazz charts. He arranged and produced his own records as well as those of other artists. In 1996 he signed with Concord Jazz and released his first album with them, One More Angel, in May 1997. His second Concord recording, Now, was released in August 1998 and features guitarist John Scofield, saxophonists Michael Brecker and Chris Potter, and drummer Bill Stewart. He released his third Concord recording, Imprint, in 2000. It features saxophonists Chris Potter and Mark Turner, pianists Danilo Perez and John Beasley, drummers Jack DeJohnette and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, and the great percussionist Giovanni Hildalgo. Communion features Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Chris Potter, Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and many others. It includes a piece with string quartet, jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music.
John has won many magazine polls for his electric and acoustic bass playing, including Best Jazz Bassist 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. He has taught many seminars on playing and composing at prestigious music schools worldwide and is currently the Artistic Director of the Bass Collective, a new and comprehensive school for bassists in New York City. John is also regularly involved with The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz and also taught at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in Washington, D.C. in 2000.
After exploring many different writing styles on his own records and those of Chick Corea’s, John continues to compose for many mediums. In 1994 he was commissioned to write a piece for six-string electric bass and string orchestra for the Italian chamber orchestra Suono e Oltre in Pescara, Italy. With John as soloist, the piece was performed in March of 1995 in Italy, and in August of 1995 with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo. John was also commissioned to write a piece for the Turtle Island String Quartet, a group fluent in both classical and jazz music.
Since moving back to the New York area in 1996, John has continued to work with his own group, as well as many others. He has toured the United States and Europe with his group, The John Patitucci Quartet. He was the featured Jazz Bassist at the 1999 International Society of Bassists convention. Since 1998, John has been a part of the Roy Haynes Trio, along with Danilo Perez on piano. This trio recorded a critically acclaimed album for Verve Records and has toured throughout the world.
In the year 2000, John began working again with the legendary Wayne Shorter and has been touring the world in a new quartet featuring Danilo Perez on piano and Brian Blade on the drums. This group has also been involved in two recording projects: a studio recording and live recording that was the result of their Summer 2001-2002 World Tour.
John toured the United States as a member of an all-star quintet led by Herbie Hancock and featuring Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove and Brian Blade.
Legendary bassist John Patitucci returns with all new compositions and arrangements for his latest release Remembrance, which features him in the trio format with Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone and alto clarinet and Brian Blade on drums.
John currently resides in New York with his wife Sachi, a cellist, and their daughters Sachi Grace and Isabella Joan.