Paul Wertico's Mideast/Midwest Alliance

Paul Wertico's Mideast/Midwest Alliance


7 times Grammy winner Paul Wertico with his critically acclaimed band


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 2004, Paul was named one of the "Chicagoans of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune.

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:

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".
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.
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".
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).
He is involved in playing on and/or producing a number of new albums of Chicagoland artists, including guitarist John Moulder's CDs "Awakening" and "Through The Open Door"; trumpet player Bobby Lewis' five CDs: "Inside This Song", "Passion Flower", "Here I Go Again", "Flugel Gourmet" and "Just Havin' Some Fun"; and vocalist Kurt Elling's four CD's: "Close Your Eyes" (which received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Performance - 1995), "The Messenger" (which received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Performance - 1997), "This Time It's Love" (which received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Performance - 1998) and "Man In The Air" (which received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Performance - 2003).
He programs drum parts for a writing team that includes his wife, Barbara, and noted songwriter/singer Jim Peterik. Together, they have written songs for groups such as the Doobie Brothers and Mecca.
In addition, Paul was also elected three times to serve on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Chapter of NARAS (The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences).
Hailed as "one of the most musical and well-rounded drummers in music today", Paul's versatility has enabled him


Some of the many other jazz artists Paul has performed with include:
Larry Coryell
Eddie Harris
Lee Konitz
Ben Sidran
Dave Liebman
Herbie Mann

Lew Tabackin
Chico Freeman
Sam Rivers
Terry Gibbs
Buddy DeFranco
Bob Mintzer

Muhal Richard Abrams
Ken McIntyre
Von Freeman
Marcus Belgrave
Ira Sullivan
Bunky Green

Joshua Breakstone
Tim Hagans
Milt Hinton
Roscoe Mitchell
Rick Margitza
Evan Parker

Jay McShann
Art Porter
Lester Bowie
Surgey Kuryokhin
Randy Brecker
John McNeal

Scott Hamilton
Jaco Pastorius
Judy Roberts
Mars Williams
Emmett Chapman
Gene Harris

Richie Cole
Willie Pickens
Lou Levy
George Freeman
Ron Carter
Tomasz Stanko

Joe Daley
Jim Pepper
Fareed Haque
Miroslav Vitous
Steve Coleman
Paul McCandless

Jodie Christian
Matthew Garrison
Donald Harrison
Franz Jackson
Howard Levy
Tiger Okoshi

Dave Holland
Ari Brown
Bennie Powell
Alan Pasqua
Bob Sheppard
Darryl Jones

Gil Goldstein
Kenny Davern
William Russo
Rebecca Parris
Alan Eager
Pete Cosey

Phil Markowitz
Ron Blake
Bobby Enriquez
Henry Butler
Marvin Stamm
Patricia Barber

Sonny Fortune
Dr. Lonnie Smith
George Coleman
Eldee Young
Kahil El'Zabar
Famoudou Don Moye

Niels Lan Doky
Arild Andersen
Bendik Hofseth
Paolo Fresu
Richie Patterson
Carl Fontana

Brian Lynch
Curtis Fuller
Eddie Henderson
Benny Golson
Terrance Blanchard
Tierney Sutton

Mark Egan
Arthur Blythe
Hal Russell
Buster Williams
Fred Hopkins
Jeff Berlin

Chris Vadala
Ken Chaney
Lynn Seaton
Dr. Lou Fischer
John Campbell
Fred Hamilton

Bill Evans
Diane Schuur
Truck Parham
Ralph Moore
Eddie Calhoun
Hamid Drake

Delfayo Marsalis
Peter Appleyard
John LaBarbara
Eric Schneider
John Young
Javon Jackson

Junior Mance
David 'Fathead' Newman
Gerald Veasley
Leon Sash
Buddy Childers
Eddie Higgins

Set List

Improvised music