Paul Wertico
January 5, 1953
© Rick Malkin

Paul Wertico
One of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today, Paul Wertico gained world recognition when he became a member of the Pat Metheny Group in 1983. During that time he performed on ten CDs and three videos with Pat, appeared on many television shows, and toured the world dozens of times. Also during those years, he won seven Grammy Awards, numerous magazine polls, and received several gold records. Paul left the PMG in 2001.

When Paul is not touring, he divides his time between studio work, producing, and leading his own groups. Paul has played with such jazz greats as Eddie Harris, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Sam Rivers, Bob Mintzer, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, Jay McShann, Herbie Mann, Randy Brecker, Jerry Goodman, Ramsey Lewis and many others. He's currently a member of both the Larry Coryell Trio and the Jeff Berlin Trio. For seven years (2000-2007), Paul was also a member of the legendary Eastern European rock band, SBB. In reviews, his playing has been compared to that of an "Impressionist painter", while Paul has also been described as "an inspired madman" and "a restless innovator." In 2004, the Chicago Tribune honored Paul as one of their "Chicagoans of the Year".

Paul is also extremely active in the field of education. Besides teaching privately for almost 40 years, Paul is Assistant Professor of Jazz and Head of Jazz Studies at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, and he also serves on the percussion faculty of Northwestern University. He's written educational articles for magazines such as Modern Drummer, DRUM!, Drums & Drumming, Drum Tracks, and Downbeat, as well as for He also performs drum clinics and master classes at universities, high schools, and music stores in the U.S. and around the world. In addition, he's released two instructional videos, "Fine Tuning Your Performance" and "Paul Wertico's Drum Philosophy".

Paul's debut CD as a leader, entitled "The Yin And The Yout", received great critical acclaim including 4 stars in Downbeat magazine. Paul's 1998 CD is a live recording of the Paul Wertico Trio and is entitled "Live In Warsaw!" It received 4 1/2 stars in Downbeat, and features guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg. This trio's 2000 release was a studio recording entitled "Don't Be Scared Anymore" that received reviews such as: "This album is like the soundtrack to the world's coolest vacation" by All About Jazz and "Jazz-rock in the truest sense" by the All Music Guide. Paul's 2004 CD, "StereoNucleosis" was released to rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune wrote "A brilliant release - Wertico shows a thrilling disregard for stylistic boundaries. "StereoNucleosis" is one of the most intelligent, creative and alluring percussion recordings of the past decade. Wertico reaffirms his position among the most restlessly inventive drummers working today." and the All Music Guide proclaimed "Wertico and his players have done something wonderful and rare: they've actually created something not only different, but also truly new." LA Weekly wrote "His recent records, such as 2000's "Don't Be Scared Anymore" and the new "StereoNucleosis", are stunning examples of the electronic, rhythmic and intellectual directions jazz could be going." Paul's 2006 CD "Another Side" is on the audiophile Naim Label and has been described as "a brilliant collaborative effort between these three uniquely talented musicians."

Paul's also released nine co-led recordings: a self-titled LP, "Earwax Control", and a live Earwax Control CD entitled "2 LIVE"; a self-titled LP, "Spontaneous Composition"; a drums/percussion duo CD (with Gregg Bendian) entitled "BANG!"; a double guitars/double drums 3-CD set (with Derek Bailey, Pat Metheny, and Gregg Bendian) entitled "The Sign Of 4"; and two piano/bass/drums trio CDs (with Laurence Hobgood & Brian Torff) entitled "Union" and "State Of The Union". In 2007, Brian Peters and Paul released their CD "Ampersand", which called "Simply a musical masterpiece" and Classic Drummer magazine described as "One of the most ambitious records ever released. Recorded over a period of four years, it documents a completely new approach to combine elements of both Rock and Jazz music while resulting in a very listenable and captivating final product." Also in 2007, Paul released "Jazz Impressions 1" with pianist Silvano Monasterios and bassist Mark Egan. Chicago Jazz Magazine wrote "From the first note of Jazz Impressions, you know you're in for something interesting and different. What these three do with that format, however, is nothing short of breathtaking."

Paul played drums on Paul Winter's 1990 Grammy nominated release, "Earth: Voices Of A Planet", and he's also played on and produced a number of CDs for various artists including vocalist Kurt Elling's 1995 Grammy nominated release, "Close Your Eyes", Elling's 1997 Grammy nominated release, "The Messenger", Elling's 1998 Grammy nominated release, "This Time It's Love" and Elling's 2003 Grammy nominated release, "Man In The Air". Paul also served three terms on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Chapter of NARAS (The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences).

In addition to winning numerous awards as a member of the PMG, Paul was also voted "Fusion Drummer Of The Year" in DRUM! magazine's Reader's Poll and he's placed in the "Top Five in the Electric Jazz Category" in Modern Drummer magazine's Reader's Polls. Paul's been featured on the covers of magazines such as Drum Tracks, Modern Drummer and Chicago Jazz Magazine, as well as on international drum publications such as Italy's Percussioni, Belgium's Belgo Beat, Poland's PerQsja and South America's Bateristas al Sur. He was also one of the featured clinicians at the 1994, 1999 & 2002 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and the 1997 Modern Drummer Drum Festival. His performances are included in videos of two of those events. Paul is also one of the featured artists on Drum Workshop's videos, "The American Dream II" and "The American Dream III". Paul also has his own "signature" drum sticks: the Paul Wertico model - TX808W, as well as new "signature" products that he invented called "Tubz" and "KidzTubz", all made by Pro-Mark.

Paul endorses: Drum Workshop drums, pedals and hardware; Paiste cymbals, sounds and gongs; Remo drumheads and World Percussion; Pro-Mark drumsticks, Tubz, KidzTubz, brushes and mallets; Shure microphones; Slug percussion products; Alternative Mode/KAT products; XL Specialty cases; The Original Drum Screen; Stick Stuff; Grip Peddler products; Sensaphonics products; Cakewalk products; Factory Metal Percussion products; Futz; Alesis products; Universal Audio products; iZotope products; The Drumometer; The Beatnik; The Slapstik; Metrophones; S-Hoop products; Fingerstix; PC Drummer; Hear Technology products; Puresound Percussion, Power Wrist Builders, The Triplet Drum Glove, and FXpansion products.

© Shawn Martin

© Rick Malkin

© Rick Malkin

© Rick Malkin

Released on September 1, 2002, the international release of the Paul Wertico instructional video entitled
Paul Wertico's Drum Philosophy
on Warner Bros. Publications

PAUL WERTICO'S DRUM PHILOSOPHY Warner Bros. Publications (Sheet Music/Song Books) - "Long-time drummer for the Pat Metheny Group, Paul Wertico is widely acknowledged as one of the premier players in jazz drumming. His unique approach to the drums is as much mental as it is physical. His analysis of the performances included in the program will give you great insight into the philosophy he employs when he sits down at the drum set. If you've been wanting to take your playing up to the next level, there is no better person to lead you there than Paul Wertico." * Stick technique * Approach to soloing * Ghost notes * Practicing * Listening & interacting with other players * Performance & analysis of original songs - Features the Paul Wertico Quintet: Rich Corpolongo on saxophone, John Moulder on guitar, Laurence Hobgood on piano, Eric Hochberg on bass & Paul Wertico on drums (Formerly released exclusively in Japan as "Sound Work Of Drumming" on Rittor Music)

Hi Bernhard!
Congratulations on a really fantastic site. This is what the internet should be about. Keep up the great work!!!
Paul Wertico

thanks for your visit!

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