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Pat Metheny Goes Back to School

In the mid-’70s, an eager, earnest and awfully young Pat Metheny (pictured) managed to land a job teaching at Berklee College of Music. He was only 19 and his first album as a leader (1975’s Bright Size Life on ECM) hadn’t even been released yet. The folks at Berklee either knew the boy could play guitar or Metheny could just write one helluva cover letter.

Now, after a wildly successful 20-some years in the jazz spotlight, Metheny will head back to Berklee to teach again, albeit only for two weeks a year. Next year Metheny will slide into pianist/composer Alan Broadbent’s former position as the college’s Herb Alpert Visiting Professor, a job he’ll keep for three years assuming his students don’t bombard their esteemed prof with spitballs. Why would they? He’s proved to be hip like them by using new technologies to create his sounds, right?

Berklee’s Herb Alpert Professorship came about in 2000 when trumpeter Alpert received an honorary doctorate from the school and thus had his philanthropic organization, the Herb Alpert Foundation, reciprocate by establishing and funding a position for a prominent music industry figure at the college.

Originally Published