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Sligo Weekender - August 5, 2008

Beat That! Drummer Paul's in Town

SATURDAY night, August 9 promises to be a big one as world-class American drummer Paul Wertico performs at the Hawk's Well as part of Sligo Jazz 08's star studded lineup.

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".

Wertico put in two decades with the celebrated guitar hero and composer Pat Metheny. In that time he earned seven Grammy awards with the Pat Metheny Group and was a Modern Drummer magazine and Drum magazine Reader's Poll winner. He was also named as one of the Chicago Tribune's 2004 Chicagoans of the Year. Wertico's discography as both leader and sideman is lengthy and impressive. He currently tours worldwide with bassist Jeff Berlin and guitar legend Larry Coryell.

Paul has recently been appointed as assistant professor of Jazz and Head of Jazz Studies at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Sligo Jazz 2008 follows up on the huge success of 2007 with the return of this true legend of jazz drums. This year features an added bonus for the Sligo audience, who have two chances to witness this 'genius of the sticks' in concert on Thursday, August 7 and Saturday, August 9.

The Saturday night event at the Hawk's Well Theatre will see Wertico take on the mantle of band leader of the SJP summer school faculty. He will take them through their paces in a jazz revue-style concert the likes of which Sligo has never witnessed before.

He will perform at the Factory Performance Space on Thursday, August 7 and at the Hawk's Well Theatre on Saturday, August 9.

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