Patricio Morales is an Emmy-award winning composer and guitarist. His music comes straight from the soul combining elements of jazz and folk with the technical brilliance of a classical virtuoso. Long before world music became fashionable, Patricio had immersed himself in many cultures, distilling the best elements of each and always evoking the spirit of his native Chile.
As a child, Patricio dreamed of playing the guitar but it wasn't until his fourteen birthday that his parents could afford to satisfy his wish. After that, there was no holding him back. He listened feverishly to recordings by American musicians and obsessively taught himself the guitar, all the while dreaming of meeting the person who would later become his biggest musical influence, guitarist Ralph Towner. He played locally in cafes and bars but knew that to make it, he had to get to the United States. He worked nights and studied music by day at Purchase College, NY and at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, earning his Bachelor of Music. At Brooklyn College, Patricio studied Classical Guitar with Michael Cedric Smith who also introduced him to such classical guitar greats as Manuel Barrueco and Carlos Barbosa Lima. But it was his mentor, Ralph Towner who inspired him most. Ralph took Patricio under his wing, accepting him as his protégé in Seattle and taking him on the road. Patricio made the most of this unique opportunity, studying and playing with Ralph and many of the pioneers of contemporary jazz such as Paul McCandless, Trilok Gurtu, John Abercrombie, Gary Peacock and Colin Walcott.
After living and playing in the United States for a decade, Patricio headed for Europe playing all sorts of venues, with numerous musicians like singer songwriter Ole Paus, jazz and world music vibraphonist Ruud Wiener and violinist Zoltan Lantos. He lived in Switzerland for almost two decades where he continued performing, teaching and composing.
Refusing to be pigeonholed into any one category, Patricio moved back to Chile for two years where he worked in music production for advertising and TV and launched the hugely influential Tambores y Bajo, a radio program promoting contemporary urban beats for Chile’s Radio Zero. Patricio eventually returned to Europe but the show kept running for another six, which he produced remotely from Milan.
Always pursuing his musical quest, Patricio founded the company North South Music Production, providing original music libraries for motion pictures. He went on to score dozens of film and television soundtracks, including long-lived daytime shows such as As The World Turns, One Life To Live and All My Children, winning an Emmy Award in the process and establishing a bespoke music library for broadcasters, advertising and corporate clients.
Patricio has released two albums of original guitar compositions, Tierra del Fuego and Doble Sol, featuring guest musicians from South America and Europe. The music showcases his roots in the wide-open spaces of the Americas along with the sophistication of Europe's long musical heritage. The songs feature lyrical melodies that Pat Metheny would be proud of and lush harmonies reminiscent of John McLaughlin's early acoustic work. The track La Tierra Canta lives up to the title. It’s as if the land itself is bathed in glorious sunlight, bursting with life, and singing. Doble Sol is a minor masterpiece, beginning as a haunting ballad of wistful longing. The chords provide a rich texture with the melody entwining itself like roses on a cottage wall before climbing to a warm resolution. Other tracks like Papascal give a nod to his humble beginnings on the high plains of Chile and the rhythms of South America.
Patricio recently returned with his wife to the States, settling in the Hudson Valley region of New York where he continues to teach, compose and perform.
-- Leon Ferguson, June 2017