May 30, 2023

Patrick Bartley Jr. visits Capital University for jazz week

Patrick Bartley Jr. is an up-and-coming saxophone player from south Florida. He gained traction in New York City and grew a sizable online audience through Twitch streams and his band, J-MUSIC Ensemble. 

Patrick has a passion for anime and video game music, and has made it his goal to combine the genres of jazz and Japanese music. He explained that “after many years, [he] realized that the melodies in Japanese media and traditional jazz melodies are the same.” He said that in the coming years, he wants to introduce the history of jazz to Japan through teaching and translating important documentaries.

Throughout his time at Capital, he held several clinics about the importance of jazz history and theory. He said that these ideals should be “automatic” to jazz musicians. 

Underneath the umbrella of theory, he said learning tunes, understanding common harmonies and scales are all important. He said there are a lot of entities that fall into the theory category, and practicing them and making them “automatic” is what makes a good musician. 

He remarked on the importance of history the most throughout these talks. He said that history is the most important thing for multiple reasons. 

He explained that “everyone that you listen to can be traced back. All jazz musicians that you look up to listen to someone else who listened to someone else, so just go back to the source material and learn it all.” 

To wrap the theory and history together, he explained how impressive Louis Armstrong was as a musician:

 “Most musicians lead back to Louis Armstrong, and he didn’t even know the theory. After he shot a gun, he was arrested and sent to a military camp where he learned coronet. He wasn’t learning any theory there.” 

He stressed the importance that at the end of the day, if you know the sound you’re trying to replicate, you don’t need to know intricate music theory. 

As he talked to many students playing on Friday, it was clear that the passion for jazz is what’s important to have as a developing player.

After the high school honors band had played, he said that although they have a lot of room to improve technically on their instrument, their intention and passion for the music were clear and that’s what was important. 

Patrick’s online presence is diverse. J-MUSIC’s album, “Metagroove,” exponentially increased the band’s popularity as the band posted videos of the rehearsals. Metagroove’s music is all covers from the game Persona 5, and the covers are arranged by Patrick and other bandmates.

Patrick has started his own individual YouTube channel to help educate beginner- to advanced-level jazz musicians. He’s also posted videos of himself performing, including videos dissecting parts of his past performances. 
He streams a couple times a week on Twitch, too, where he takes musical requests from the viewers. Patrick also live streams games such as “Splatoon” on the same channel.

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