He is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works, and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, Latin jazz, and jazz fusion. Metheny has three gold albums and 20 Grammy Awards and is the only person to win Grammys in 10 categories. He is the brother of jazz flugelhornist Mike Metheny.
Metheny was born in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. His father Dave played trumpet, his mother Lois sang, and his maternal grandfather Delmar was a professional trumpeter. Metheny’s first instrument was trumpet, which he was taught by his brother, Mike. His brother, father, and grandfather played trios together at home. His parents were fans of Glenn Miller and swing music. They took Metheny to concerts to hear Clark Terry and Doc Severinsen, but they had little respect for guitar. Metheny’s interest in guitar increased around 1964 when he saw the Beatles perform on TV. For his 12th birthday, his parents allowed him to buy a guitar, which was a Gibson ES-140 3/4.
Metheny’s life changed after hearing the album Four & More by Miles Davis. Soon after, he was captivated by Wes Montgomery‘s album Smokin’ at the Half Note which was released in 1965. He cites the Beatles, Miles Davis, and Wes Montgomery as having the biggest impact on his music.
When he was 15, he won a scholarship from Down Beat magazine to a one-week jazz camp where he was mentored by guitarist Attila Zoller, who then invited Metheny to New York City to see guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Ron Carter.