By likemindblog


Born and raised in Lansing Michigan, PATRICK TERBRACK began his musical studies at the age of five with private piano studies. At the age of 12 he began playing the alto saxophone. Patrick also developed an avid interest in education. He has since taught for the Detroit Civic jazz Orchestra, the Detroit Arts League, and started, and continues to run, his own private saxophone studio.  This talented musician is developing his own unique sound, a universal sound.  He currently leads his own Chicago based quartet, The Patrick Terbrack Quartet, and has recently recorded his first album as a leader.

Patrick, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project.  I truly appreciate the time you’ve given me although your schedule is incredibly hectic.  Let us begin!

No. 1) What is music to and for you?

 Music is language, it is story telling, it is the most direct and efficient way to convey the entire range of human emotion.

No. 2) What inspires you?

 I’m inspired by the greatness and goodness in other people, by selflessness, by people that are more concerned with what they do (if that is a noble pursuit) and less with whom they are or what they will be. I’m inspired by the belief that all people have goodness in them and that all people can achieve greatness.

No. 3) When you are playing, creating (not performing but for yourself) where does it take you, where does your mind travel?

It’s hard to say where my mind travels. I guess that depends on what mood I’m in, where I’m at. I always try to tell stories on my horn. I feel I’ve gotten_MG_5707 away from the emotional element of the music and begun to focus too much on the technical elements. It’s a danger a lot of saxophone players deal with when studying guys like John Coltrane. There is so much there to learn that it gets very easy to focus on the technical and theoretical elements of his playing. But he wasn’t that kind of player. Yes he was very technical and very intellectual but he never sacrificed the emotional element. I’m working really hard to deepen my emotional connection with everything I play.

I like to play a game sometimes, where I visualize a story or movie, sometimes I’ll just put on a movie and mute it, then I try to play along with the story. It’s actually really hard! Especially if I do this in the framework of another song. Then the challenge becomes interpreting the song you are playing in a way that will fit the story on screen. I’m a very visual person, I learn in a very visual way, images are very important to me. Often if I am in the right mood I can see images when I play… memories, people from my past. I think it is just the way my imagination works. But I really have to be in the right frame of mind for it. I play my best like that because I feel my thought process is at it’s most free.

IMG_0197.JPG Patrick No. 4)  Do you think music, visual art and health are related and if so how?

 Yes I do… especially psychologically. I think the arts are fundamental in aiding in the treatment depression. It definitely was for me! There have been numerous studies that show the arts are good for the development of infant and adolescent minds. Anything that causes wonder and can give hope and expand the mind is good for you!

 No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing?

 It depends on what I am playing. I usually feel very free. I feel more myself when I play then at any other time.

 No. 6)  Do you identify with your music and if so, on what level?

I identify with my music at a very deep level. Music is a thing very personal to me. It is also very personal to the people I play with. So I do my best to identify with their music just as much as my own. Like I said before, music is the most direct way to convey the entire range of human emotion. If you want to create great music you have to be in touch with those emotions. That is a very deep thing.

 No. 7) When do you do your best work (environment etc.)

 I do my best work in concert hall. It is the best environment to perform for me. I can hear the musicians around and they can hear me. Plus there is something great about looking out into darkness. I like knowing an audience is there but not seeing them. Other then that I like clubs. You can really let loose in a club. It’s a very intimate experience but not always the most musical.

_MG_5611No. 8)  Does music help you connect with your “higher self” whatever that is for you?

Yes it can. Not always but I try to. I remember playing at St. Stevens Church in Lansing. We were doing I call to worship and after the prayers were given one women stayed and the pastor continued to pray for her. The band began playing a song. I don’t remember what it was but I remember be entirely in tune to what she felt. The song we were playing no longer mattered, I did away with the melody and just played for her. The whole congregation moved and clapped along and the band played just for her pain. When we stopped everyone in the band was crying and the woman was still weeping but it appeared a weight had been lifted off of her. It was the first time in my life I really felt something bigger, that I had connected with something bigger. That is why I play music. To lift the burdens of life off of others… and myself!

 No. 9)  What does jazz mean to you?

Jazz means Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Don Byas, Nat King Cole,  Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, Johnny Hodges, Art Tatum, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Cannonball Adderley, Tony Williams, Papa Joe Jones, Jimmy Blanton, Oscar Pettiford, Bill Evans, Michael Brecker, Sarah Vaughn, Ornette Coleman… my apologies to the many greats I’ve left off.

Patrick’s links:

Patrick’s new release:  “Invitation”

Cover Album Patrick Terbrack InvitationThis is the cover photo of his new album!

Patrick, good luck with this album and I wish you lots of success in all your endeavours.  You contribute a lot to our society and we are grateful.  Thank you for a most interesting article.  Until the next time, be blessed!



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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, January 29th, 2010


As inspiring as Patrick’s playing is so are his comments in this article. He is very centered and grounded in his own place. Knowing him, this is very easy to understand about him. Patrick’s creativity comes from a place all musicians hope to find when they play. His passion as a teacher is to show you how to grow in your own personal creative way. We are all very lucky to experience his talent. Destine to go far.

Thanks for the interview, Michele and Patrick. I loved the answer to question #2. I’ll try to remember it myself, Pat. You’ve inspired me…thanks. The comment about the arts being connected to health and healing are certainly true in my own experience. The gift of being able to experience art without pretense or fear, expressing ideas and emotions honestly, can provide catharsis, connection, ecstasy and release that no medications can duplicate.

And nice photo on the CD!

Great article. I’d love to be able to hear what you come up with when you try to play a story on your sax while watching a muted movie.

By Patrick Terbrack on February 2nd, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I’ll tell you what Blake. I’ll try to come up with something this week. Do you have a favorite movie. I’ll post it on my MySpace page.

Hope you enjoy it!

Sounds great Patrick. My favorite movie of all times is Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. I also really like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, as well as Crash with Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock. Each of those movies should have several scenes that you could work with.

By Michele Andree on February 3rd, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Let me know when you put something up on MySpace to Blake’s paintings. Now you’ve got my curiosity going! Great idea!

Haha. That’s a good group of movies. Planes, Tranes and Automobiles! I haven’t seen that in ages. I’ll head to the library and find out which ones I can rent there and then I’ll pick a scene.


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours