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What would you do if you had the spirit of an American rocker but you were born in the small town of Oristano, in the Italian island of Sardinia?
Since the age of 3 – he has pictures to prove it! -, Patrick Abbate has held a guitar in his hands. And he knew exactly how to do it in the right way, even if nobody had ever taught him. “I have always thought to be just as talented as other people, but more determined in learning and becoming a great guitarist. Then a few years ago, I found those pictures from my childhood and had to admit that for me playing the guitar is a natural instinct. Now, I can remember how frustrated I was because I couldn’t play different notes on my toy-guitar.“
By the age of 15, Patrick was playing for real and incredibly fast. A self-taught musician, he soon started to perform on stage and to make a big name for himself all over Sardinia.
He decided to perfect his knowledge of classic guitar by studying, among others, with artists Paolo Fresu and Frank Gambale. He also attended a course in Experimental Composition at the Conservatorio in Cagliari, and followed his mentor Umberto Fiorentino to Rome’s Percento Musica where he used to teach electric guitar.
In spite of living in a small Italian town, Patrick’s career as a solo artist took off and reached an international level in a few years, featuring prestigious collaborations and endorsements.
In 2007, he was awarded the “Randall & Washburn European Artist of the Year” at NAMM show in Los Angeles: “This is an achievement I am very proud of. Another one is the Green Card that I was granted by the US Government for Extraordinary Ability in music.”
Patrick has worked with famed musicians the likes of Kee Marcello - former guitarist with the ‘80s band Europe -, virtuous guitar legend Steve Vai, and pop vocalist Megan McCauley, just to name a few.
He has had over ten different endorsements and, after Marshall Amplification, he proudly opted for one of the best Italian manufacturers, Masotti, who customized his new guitar amplifier. And you should see it: a perfect materialization of Patrick’s sense of humor and charming ability not to take himself too seriously!
In fact, regardless of the aggressive look, he is extremely easygoing and open-minded, and so is his music that ranges from rock to blues, from funky to American country. As he explains: “I am not the kind of guitarist who is specialized in and only plays one genre. I rather prefer to experiment and to constantly challenge myself. Can you imagine an Italian guitarist playing country music? This is so amusing!”
Considering the positive feedback that he was receiving both at home and abroad, finally Patrick decided to listen to his heart and moved to Los Angeles almost six years ago. “LA is the right city for my music.
Most of the greatest guitar heroes have started from here. Actually, many of them, including Slash from Guns N’ Roses, back in the ‘80s used to play in a rock-metal band called Black Sheep…” He smiles, because he is a present member - the lead guitarist - of Black Sheep.
Besides them, he also plays with the country-rock band Jack Brand and The Big Circle Riders, and he has recently founded his own band, Abbate, with Lamar Little and Mike Roberts. Together they will compose and play original instrumental pop-rock songs, but first of all they will rearrange and perform Patrick’s solo record Electric Dreams, produced by David Z. Rivkin and to be released this summer. It includes 13 melodic pieces that Patrick composed since he was 18, two of them with vocals, and three of them from his previous album Tutto Quello Che Ho Da Dirti (sold out).
“I have always focused on my career as a solo artist more than as a guitarist playing with somebody else. Nevertheless, I also like to be in a band and, even if it is named after me, I want us to be a real team. Exchanging ideas with others while composing music is way more interesting.”
As Patrick underlines, instrumental music may be peculiar and a market niche, yet it is able to win over its public mainly through the extreme virtuosity. On the contrary, he believes that even who doesn’t play the guitar can be seduced by his distinctive style, which smartly combines the fastest execution with melodic blues. “It may sound as a contradiction and it certainly is a challenge, but a wider audience likes it.”
If you are interested in listening to his amazing music and losing sight of his fingers running on the strings, Patrick Abbate will perform in several occasions and venues in Los Angeles throughout the summer. Among them, he has been invited to play for L’Italo-Americano at the upcoming Ferragosto event, where he will entertain the guests with the versatile repertoire you may have also enjoyed at Italian Cultural Institute.
In fact, even if he loves the US and is well-integrated in the American society, Patrick remains attached to his Italian origin and proud to be part of the local community: “I like to hang out with my Italian friends, having breakfast with them at Easter – a typical Roman tradition – and then going to a LA-style pool party!”
Every now and then Patrick returns to Italy for family or business purpose – for example, last year he made some guest appearances in the popular comedy show Colorado –, but in Los Angeles he feels at home.
For more information on his music visit: www.patrickabbate. com