“Pat has tremendous musical ability beyond technical facility. He has great power of concentration to detail and is totally committed with body and soul.” – Elvin Jones
Pat Labarbera (alto & tenor saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, jazz educator) was born in Warsaw, New York on April 7, 1944, and spent the first thirty years of his life in the United States before moving to Toronto in 1974. His father taught the basics of music to Pat and his two younger brothers, John (a gifted arranger/trumpeter) and Joe (a highly accomplished drummer). He studied at the famed Berklee College of Music, and soon after graduating, began to make his presence felt with the best of the American big bands
By the time he relocated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1974, Pat was already well-known for his solo work with the bands of Louis Bellson, Woody Herman, and for seven years, touring and recording as featured tenor saxophone soloist with the Buddy Rich Band throughout every major city in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Pat is universally considered one of the world’s most exciting saxophonists.
LaBarbera has played on every major network television show including The Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show several times. He has worked with the biggest entertainers in the business including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner.
Called ‘a true intellectual of improvisation’ by Justin Time Records, Pat has been among the key members of the Toronto jazz scene for the past three-plus decades, claiming Junos and ‘Jazz Report’ Awards for writing and performing with his own jazz ensembles all along the way. He has been on the full-time teaching faculty at Humber College for the past several years instructing on Saxophone, Ensemble Performance, Jazz Repertoire Development, and Advanced Jazz Theory and Performance Practice, while continuing to write, perform, and record with his own trios and quartets.
Here is Pat in 1990 playing in a band lead by the great Elvin Jones on drums….
- Pat Labarbera–Saxophone
- Brian Dickinson–Piano
- Neil Swainson–Bass
- Bob McLaren–Drums