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Guitar master Pat Martino has died

Tom Beetz
Courtesy of the artist
Pat Martino

Pat Martino changed the sound of jazz guitar and changed the perception of the roles that consciousness and memory play in making music. He died on Nov. 1 at age 77.

From an early age, Martino was inspired by his father, and later encouraged by fellow Philadelphians Wes Montgomery and John Coltrane.

Martino was a jazz and soul-jazz guitar star, with a discography dating back to 1960. He received Grammy nominations and various other awards.

In 1980, after operations for a brain aneurysm, Martino could remember nothing.

The story of his life, recovered memories and restored career are documented in his 2011 book, "Here and Now! The Autobiography of Pat Martino."

The 2008 "Martino Unstrung" documentary explored the neuroscience of Martino's condition and his ability to play music.

Martino had been unable to perform since 2018, due to a chronic respiratory disorder. A GoFundMe site has recently raised almost $250,000 to help with his medical and living expenses.

Martino and saxophonist James Carter visited our studios in 2013. See the story and the KNKX Studio Session.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.