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Drummer and Band Member Carmen Intorre Pays Tribute to Pat Martino

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I have been Pat Martino’s drummer close to 8 years now and I can honestly say it has been a transformative experience…

The very first live show I saw when I moved to NYC in 1999 was the Pat Martino Trio (the previous iteration) at the old Iridium. I was young, green and not very hip to Martino at the time but I was immediately struck by his sound and his approach to music. I was touched in a way that inspired and motivated me to learn and grow as a musician. I soon became hooked on Pat Martino. I read his books and attended as many performances as I could .

In 2011, I was finally given the opportunity to join the man himself on stage at the Idiuim for a 4 night run. Excited and nervous leading up to the gig I was hoping to hear from Pat about what tunes he was planning to perform. It wasn’t until the night before the gig that I received an email in which he listed his entire song book and suggested I learn it because he could call any one of those tunes the following night.

I think Pat might have been a bit concerned when I showed up to sound check the next day without sheet music. Little did he know I had been studying his music for years! In his deep voice he asked me do you have the charts? When I told him I had memorized his music, he cracked a dubious smile. But by the time we were halfway through sound check he looked back at me and gave me a nod of approval. That nod went a long way. The performance went well and a few months later I officially joined the Pat Martino Trio.

I have learned many great lessons from Pat along the way.  Pat is very devoted to living his life in the moment which has really helped me in every aspect of my life. On stage, rather than playing busy, I have learned the importance of listening and then reacting– which is much harder than it sounds. And it is only when you play to serve the music as a whole (rather than playing for yourself) that the magic happens. Pat is a warm, generous, funny and beautiful soul that reaches people on and off the bandstand. I’m thrilled to be able to say a few words about my good friend Pat Martino and to wish him a very happy 75th birthday.

Carmen Intorre – Pat’s drummer and band member

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