Spend St. Patty’s Day with Pat

Clearwater is offering a jazzy way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.

On Thursday, March 17, the Pat Metheny Group, a band of musicians led by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, will make a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall during the group’s “The Way Up” world tour.

“I expect that it will be a musical tour de force for the group,” said Joe Botto, jazz music director for WBUL 1620AM and a senior majoring in information systems management. Botto admitted that he “wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

The Pat Metheny Group consists of pianist Lyle Mays, bassist Steve Rodby, trumpet player Cuong Vu, drummer Antonio Sanchez, harmonica player Grégoire Maret and guitarist Nando Lauria.

“It’s an excellent ensemble of musicians,” Botto said. “The musicianship that the group brings forth is both enjoyable and admirable from any perspective.”

A 15-time Grammy Award winner, Metheny is a living legend.

“He’s very talented,” said Ian Gill, a freshman majoring in music education with a specialization in jazz. “He has a great feel for the guitar.”

“He is one of the people that changed the face of his instrument,” Botto said. “His musical thoughts and emotions transcend generational gaps — something that only a few have been able to achieve.”

But Metheny is not the only one in the band who has achieved a renowned standing. Several members of the group boast degrees from eminent music schools, as well as a number of awards and award nominations.

“This is a group whose status will not fade with time; it will only grow more intense,” Botto said.

Both Botto and Gill urge other USF students to take this chance to see the Pat Matheny Group play live.

“I would encourage a jazz major especially to go see this, but other majors could still get something out of it,” Gill said. “Seeing a show, especially for the first time, can open up a person’s perspective.”

Concert tickets are on sale now for $33.50 and $39.50, but USF students can receive $10 off by purchasing them at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office or by calling 727-791-7400.

“Ever since I became interested in jazz, I’ve wanted to see Pat play the guitar live,” Botto said. “This is going to be a concert no one will want to miss. It’s going to be one of those shows of a lifetime.”