Pat Metheny to receive Honorary Doctorate of Music


Published: 16Apr2019

Since beginning his international career in 1974, guitarist Pat Metheny has garnered widespread critical acclaim, demonstrated astonishing versatility as an artist, and has consistently been at the forefront of music technology. On May 29, 2019, his accomplishments will be recognized by McGill University through his reception of an Honorary Doctorate of Music at the Spring Convocation. During McGill's convocation ceremonies, which take place at the end of May and early June, a total of 14 individuals will receive an honorary doctorate in a wide variety of fields. 

Metheny's diverse career has seen him perform with the likes of Gary Burton, Michael Brecker, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Toninho Horta, Ornette Coleman, and more. As a bandleader, his projects have covered territory ranging from more traditional jazz settings to solo concerts accompanied by self-playing, mechanical instruments (Orchestrion). Metheny has also been involved in the creation of several new guitars, including the soprano acoustic guitar, the 42-string Pikasso guitar and Ibanez's PM-100 jazz guitar. 

As an educator, Metheny has held teaching postions at the University of Miami and Berklee College of Music, and has taught workshops around the world.

His list of awards and honours is staggering, and includes 20 Grammy Award wins in 12 separate categories – the only musical artist to ever achieve this feat. A NEA Jazz Master, Metheny has also been inducted into both the Down Beat Hall of Fame and the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, and was elected into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2018.

Ever the active performer, Metheny has performed 120-240 shows a year consistently since 1974. He has a large connection with both Montreal and the Montreal Jazz Festival, having appeared many times at the Festival since its inception in 1980.

Read the full list of McGill's 2019 honorary doctorate recipients here.