Seeing one of your favorite musicians is a transcendent experience, like seeing your favorite actor play your favorite president. Spoil your senses with this GrouponLive deal to see the Pat Metheny Unity Band at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts in Storrs. For $32, you get two tickets for lower-balcony seating on Saturday, October 13, at 8 p.m. (up to a $64 value). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is regularly $10 for UConn students and $15 for all other students. Parking is included.
Though watching his fingers finesse a standard jazz guitar is a spectacle in itself, Pat Metheny's one-of-a-kind Pikasso often threatens to upstage him. Made just for Metheny in a two-year process that began in 1984, the bizarre-looking guitar boasts 42 strings, four necks, two sound holes, and some robot arms just for show; its strings apply about 1,000 pounds of pressure to the wood.
Even when he's wielding a normal ax, Metheny remains in the business of delicate components held together with great force. With the help of collaborators, he joins his complex and unabashedly pretty melodies to blasts of saxophone and gusts of brushy drum work. A guitar prodigy who landed teaching positions at the University of Miami and the Berklee College of Music before he turned 20, the 18-time Grammy winner has now been plumbing the depths of modern jazz for several decades.
His newest project, the Unity Band, exuberantly stirs the melting pot of American jazz with the help of tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Their interplay on the group's self-titled first album led Allmusic to note that "it's the rhythm section that astonishes thoroughly." Audiences can expect to hear jams from the album such as "Come and See," which opens with a sinuous clarinet melody that snakes through the harp-like janglings of Metheny's guitar before the drums and bass kick the piece into a relentlessly rolling romp.