Source: Bob Hoffman, Wharton Center for Performing Arts

World-renowned guitarist/composer Pat Metheny has won an extraordinary 17 Grammy Awards and has been nominated 33 times in 12 different categories, more than any other performer in Grammy history. Aside from all the critics' awards and fan accolades, Pat's focus remains continually on the breaking down of barriers and the exploration of new musical ideas. His latest tour is no exception as Pat moves from brilliant solo guitar improvisations to the unveiling of a totally new technology for the presentation of acoustically-driven "solo ensemble" music he is dubbing Orchestrionics. The performance at Wharton Center on Sunday, October 17, 2010, features music from his latest album, Orchestrion, as well as some older tunes from the Metheny songbook.
Tickets for the Pat Metheny: Orchestrion Tour at Wharton Center are on sale at the Auto-Owners Insurance Ticket Office at Wharton Center, online at or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.
The New York Times calls Metheny, "easily one of the most enterprising jazz musicians of his generation." Orchestrion brings a musical idea from the late 19th and early 20th centuries-a large mechanical multi-instrument device that utilizes actual orchestral instruments of various types, called an "orchestrion"-to the technologies of today. Metheny's concept includes a large ensemble of acoustic instruments; including several pianos, drum kits, marimbas, "guitar-bots," dozens of percussion instruments, and even cabinets of carefully tuned bottles.  Through Metheny's guitar and compositional mind, five new original pieces showcase the instruments as they are struck, plucked, and otherwise played via the technology of solenoid switches and pneumatics. Metheny worked for months with a brilliant team of inventors to develop and assemble the "New Orchestrion" for this project.
"As the instruments started to trickle in from the various inventors," Metheny says, "the experience of writing for them and figuring out what might be possible with them provided a self-imposed challenge that proved to be difficult and time-consuming, but absolutely exhilarating.
There will be a Preview Lecture at this performance. This is a free, half-hour discussion presented by an industry expert. Previews are held 45 minutes prior to a performance. Previews for the Cobb Great Hall are located in the Stoddard Grand Tier lounge on the third floor.
Lansing's Smooth Jazz, 92.9 WJZL is the media sponsor of the 2010-2011 MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz at Wharton Center Series. The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz @ Wharton Center presentation of Pat Methany is generously sponsored by Bell Title and Mayberry Homes.