Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College lit up once again with Pat Metheny and the Unity Band, the opening act of the 2012-2013 Arts Across Campus Legends of Jazz Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10. With the soulful bass of Ben Williams, the deft drumming of Antonio Sanchez and the unbelievable precision of wind player Chris Potter, legendary guitarist Metheny fit in comfortably with the spotless lineup. The winner of 18 Grammy Awards gave a rare master class to students from area high schools and OCC before two concerts, one for students at 7 p.m. and another for the public at 9.
The versatility of the musicians defined the sets as they swayed between emotional, playful, heavy and delicate themes. The chaos of their flurried notes would climax into blistering melodic lines, especially fueled by Potter’s brilliant woodwind contributions.
Metheny’s mad scientist lab of custom-made rhythm section instruments, ranging from whistling bottles to an accordion, lit up by the end of the sets and left audiences curious about how the magic happened. Whether they figured it out or not, the real magic was in the ticket price of $35 for an artist that regularly pulls in $100-plus for shows in other markets.
For those who want in on the next acts of the OCC series, the Joey DeFrancesco Trio will visit on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.; the James Carter Organ Trio on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. and Jose Feliciano on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. All concerts are at the Storer Auditorium at 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike. Tickets for DeFrancesco and Carter are $15. Feliciano tickets are $30. For more information, call 498-2054.