Mass. Gov. Patrick Donates Collection to Berklee


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By Globe Staff

Governor Deval Patrick and his family are donating the scores, photographs, recordings, and personal materials of his father, Pat Patrick, an influential baritone saxophone player who shared the stage with many jazz greats of the 20th century, to Berklee College of Music, the school announced today.

Pat Patrick, who died of leukemia in 1991, was best known for his 40-year association with band leader and composer Sun Ra. He accompanied the Sun Ra Arkestra on overseas tours and appeared on albums. But Patrick also played with big names such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk. The Pat Patrick Collection will become part of the college's Africana Studies Archive.

“In Africana Studies, we teach our students to focus on many aspects and layers of cultural criticism, and to read deeply into history and art,” Bill Banfield, the director of Africana Studies, said in a statement. “We want to fill the archive with resources that reflect the richness and value of great works, be they music, art, texts, or visuals. The Pat Patrick archives help deepen this kind of educational experience for our students."

Governor Patrick had a complicated relationship with his father, who largely abandoned his family and returned at various intervals in the governor's adult life. In 1984, Pat Patrick showed up at his son's wedding with a band. The music was his gift.

A dedication ceremony and celebration of Pat Patrick's life is scheduled for March 24. The governor, Berklee President Roger Brown, and poet Amiri Baraka, a close friend of Pat Patrick's, will speak at the event, and Berklee students and faculty will perform music written or recorded by Patrick.

The collection, the college says, is “like a time capsule showing the interaction of culture and history during a significant time in jazz. The insights it offers are enormous."

Included are original scores and arrangements by Patrick and Ellington; hundreds of photographs and negatives of Patrick on tour, in the studio, with his family, and with associates such as Monk and Clark Terry; a ledger book from El Saturn Records, Ra's label, in which Patrick tracked album sales from 1957-1959; a scrapbook of his music jobs in Chicago during the 1950s; and a recording of Patrick playing trumpet at 10.

The college says that, in addition to shedding light on Patrick's music career, the “original articles display his militant opinions and give insight into his ideas and philosophies."

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