David Pate to Be Honored with Well-Deserved Tribute at The Palladium

David Pate is a remarkable force of nature. The multi-instrumentalist plays a vast array of woodwinds, including soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet, and flute. By the time I encountered him, he was playing often in various combos led by drummer and percussionist Majid Shabazz, whose resume included great work with master Pharoah Sanders. 

Majid Shabazz and David Pate reunite in 2018

A star-studded jazz concert honoring the 35 years David Pate has served as the esteemed director of jazz studies at Pinellas County Center for the Arts (PCCA) at Gibbs High School, this performance brings together some of the finest jazz artists around, ALL of whom have been his students. This not-to-be-missed performance will include trumpeter Carl Fischer, currently with Billy Joel, formerly with Maynard Ferguson, Wynton Marsalis, and Blood, Sweat & Tears; pianist Clay Perry, who has produced and arranged for Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, and is currently with Julio Iglesias; guitarist, recording artist and USF professor LaRue Nickelson; drummer Mark Feinman of the award-winning trio La Lucia; keyboardist and artistic director of the Florida Bjorkestra Jeremy Douglass; and many more, including Pate’s talented current students.

Partial proceeds of the event this Sunday, July 14, at 3 p.m. at The Palladium will go to the Jazz Program at PCCA at Gibbs High School. The event is presented by The Palladium and the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association.

His outstanding album Inside Plays, with liner notes by Bob Seymour, was a true delight. His solo saxophone opus Soliloquies was a revelation. For a time, Pate also hosted a free-wheeling late-night jazz show on WUSF-FM. The bassist Michael Ross, who had moved to the Tampa Bay area from Pennsylvania, and Pate have worked together for more than 40 years. They played in the band Liquid Bebop, and since 2000 they have worked together and recorded as the Michael Ross Quartet with the guitarist LaRue Nicholson and either Walt Hubbard or Tom Carabasi on drums.

Michael Ross and David Pate

Pate will tell you first and foremost that his most important influence was Sam Rivers, and so it was wonderful serendipity when Rivers chose to move to Orlando to “retire.” But retire, to Rivers, meant to continue to compose, play, and lead a superb big band, the Riv-Bea Orchestra. Pate was a regular in that band, in the first reeds chair. Pate recently performed in the very special Rivers Lost program at The Palladium honoring the music of Rivers. And he was an integral part of the internationally known Frank Zappa tribute band Bogus Pomp, where Jerry Outlaw often turned Pate loose.

Check out Pate’s New Music USA Profile:

David Pate was born in 1954 and grew up in Clearwater, Florida, during the sixties. As a result of the many musical influences of that era, including Hendrix, Coltrane, Zappa, Sam Rivers, Ian Anderson, and Terry Riley, Pate’s solo performances are a strange eclectic mix. His improvised performances utilize extended saxophone techniques such as multiphonics controlled overtones, circular breathing, some ostinatos, and maybe a blues lick or two. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Tampa, he moved to NYC in 1979 and did graduate work at The Manhattan School of Music, studying with Joe Allard. A participant in the “loft” scene in the ’80s, he performed with Ned Rothenberg, Larry Polansky, and Eugene Chadbourne as well as in many avante-garde jazz festivals. Moving back to Florida in the late ’80s, he performed with Nat Adderley and Sam Rivers. Pate tours the US with the Temptations and has toured Europe with Sam Rivers and Bogus Pomp, a Zappa tribute band. He is very involved in music education, having taught saxophone and jazz studies at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts for the past 30 years. In his spare time, he plays old man basketball and rides great distances on a bicycle. 

Yep, like riding 500 miles across Kansas every summer!

A Tribute to David Pate

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