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Paul Wertico


Born in Chicago, Illinois on January 5, 1953, Paul Wertico started playing drums at the age of 12 and became a professional by the age of 15. Self-taught on the drumset, he developed his unique musical concept by listening not only to jazz and rock, but to a variety of musical styles from all over the world. He then applied elements of these styles to his drumming in a melodic, as well as a rhythmic fashion. His playing has been compared to that of "an Impressionist painter", while he has also been described as "an inspired madman" and "a restless innovator". Paul was voted "Fusion Drummer Of The Year" in the 1997 DRUM! Magazine Reader's Poll, and placed in the top five in the"Electric Jazz" category of Modern Drummer Magazine's 1997 & 1998 Reader's Polls.

In 1983, Paul became a member of the Pat Metheny Group. During that time he won seven Grammy Awards with the PMG: three for Best Jazz Fusion Performance: "First Circle" - 1984, "Still Life (Talking)" - 1987, and "Letter From Home" - 1989; three for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance: "The Road To You" - 1993, "We Live Here" - 1995, and "Imaginary Day" - 1998; one for Best Rock Instrumental Performance: "Roots Of Coincidence" - 1998; as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance: "Follow Me" - 1998. He also played on Pat Metheny's Grammy winning solo project: "Secret Story" - 1992. Paul played on the Group's videos "More Travels" and "We Live Here - Live In Japan 1995", and on Pat Metheny's "Secret Story - LIVE" video.
He also played with Pat on the score and soundtrack for the movie "The Falcon and the Snowman", which included the hit song "This Is Not America" featuring David Bowie; and on the score to the movie "Twice In A Lifetime". In February 1986, Paul joined Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Ernie Watts in Argentina for a week of critically acclaimed engagements, and the summer of 1988 saw a revival of the 'Special Quartet' with performances in California, Japan, and Hong Kong. During 1993, Paul and his wife, Barbara Unger-Wertico, toured together as members of Pat's 'Secret Story' band, performing in 18 countries around the world. In October 1997, the Pat Metheny Group released their latest recording entitled "Imaginary Day". Paul left the PMG in February of 2001.

When not on the road, Paul resides in the Chicagoland area where he is engaged in many creative activities:
1. His involvement with "Word Jazz" creator Ken Nordine includes playing drums and percussion and doing drum programming for a number of Ken's radio shows for National Public Radio and for five of Ken's recordings: "Triple Talk", "Grandson Of Word Jazz", "Ear Package", "Upper Limbo" and "Transparent Mask".
2. He co-led and recorded an album with the critically acclaimed avant-garde trio 'Spontaneous Composition', and continues to co-lead the enigmatic group 'Earwax Control', which won NARAS's "ORA" (Outrageous Recording Award) in 1990 for the song "Dogshit Blues". He also produced 'Earwax Control's' second release, a CD entitled "2 LIVE" for the Naim Audio label.
3. He co-leads the free spirited band 'Trio New'; and leads five other highly adventurous and unique groups: Paul Wertico's 'Strapagander', Paul Wertico's 'Quintet Thing', the Paul Wertico Group, Paul Wertico's Wicked Sics, and the Paul Wertico Trio, which released a live CD entitled "Live In Warsaw!" in 1998 and a studio CD entitled "Don't Be Scared Anymore".
4. He keeps a busy schedule as a freelance artist (playing with both local and internationally known jazz artists); a studio musician (playing drums and percussion on countless jingles); a session player (playing drums and percussion on scores of record dates).

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