Beneath Missouri Skies: Pat Metheny in Kansas City, 1964-1972
The New Yorker calls Pat Metheny “possibly the most influential jazz guitarist of the past five decades.” A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, he started playing local pizza parlors at age 14. By the time he graduated from high school, Metheny was a first-call guitarist at jazz clubs and festivals. More than 50 years, 45 recordings, and 20 Grammys later, the gifted instrumentalist and composer is still performing and drawing acclaim.
In a discussion of her book Beneath Missouri Skies, local author Carolyn Glenn Brewer chronicles Metheny’s musical life during his teenage years, noting the musicians and mentors who nurtured his talent and members of the jazz community who welcomed him. Brewer delves, too, into Kansas City jazz in the 1960s and ’70s, a period characterized by social change and outstanding musicianship but often overlooked in histories about the city’s most identifiable music genre.
Brewer is a longtime band director and music educator who has spent her career promoting instrumental education through writing, playing, and teaching. She is a contributor to JAM magazine and previously published Changing the Tune: The Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival.