Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Patrick Bartley, Jr. is a musician with experience in a wide range of situations, most notably for appearing on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and being featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO special Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts Masterclass, which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Although a South Florida native, Patrick has spent the majority of his professional music career in NYC prior to graduating from the Manhattan School of Music. As an on-demand sideman, he has performed and recorded with musicians such as Louis Hayes, Jonathan Batiste, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Coffin, and Wynton Marsalis, and has performed at world-renowned venues such as The STAPLES Center, Madison Square Garden, and the Black Sea Jazz Festival.
Born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, Patrick owes much of his success to his primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. While in middle school, under the tutelage of Melton Mustafa, Jr.—son of world-renowned trumpeter Melton Mustafa, Sr.—Patrick became the youngest musician to perform at the Jazz in The Gardens jazz festival in Miami Gardens, Florida, as well as the only musician to have performed on the stage twice. It was with Melton Mustafa, Jr. and Sr. that Patrick also got his first professional recording opportunity, this time at age 17. The recording session included Mulgrew Miller, Essiet Essiet, Ray Mantilla, Jason Jackson, and Victor Lewis. While attending high school, after making the Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles for two consecutive years, Patrick was given the opportunity to perform with the Dave Matthews Band live on the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, and was also a YoungArts Gold Award recipient in Jazz.
It wasn’t until college that Patrick decided to seriously focus on studying and performing Japanese music. After hearing the band School Food Punishment play “Futuristic Imagination” as the ending theme for the anime Eden of the East, Patrick felt a shift in his musical consciousness. It was in this moment that Patrick began to realize the reasons why he loved Japanese music so much; the intense devotion to deep melodies resonated within him, and he began to connect several dots that helped him to discover similarities between this new foreign music that enchanted him so much and the African-American blues-rooted music that he grew up with.
While his career has mainly focused on jazz-related work, Patrick also works in several musical contexts. Patrick is currently a sideman in two bands formed by friends in New York City: XD 7, a jazz-fusion group formed at the Manhattan School of Music that has done two tours and has two albums released, has influences that span from Earth, Wind, and Fire to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis music; and The Arsonists, which is a quintet based in the jazz tradition, but takes elements of today’s world and plays what can be called “punk jazz”—highly intense music that serves to acknowledge the taboos of the modern jazz world and make them irrelevant with music that touches on multi-cultural backgrounds and is embodied with energy and free spirit.