Patrick Wright, a junior guitarist from Carmel, Indiana, is one of four recipients of this year’s Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Fellowship Award. He’s the fifth Butler recipient of the award in the last six years.

Patrick WrightWright will pick up the $1,000 prize at a December 11 ceremony at the Jazz Kitchen, where he and other honorees will perform with local professional musicians.  

The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation seeks nominations every year for the fellowship award. University Jazz directors from throughout the state are invited to submit a letter of recommendation on behalf of one of their top students.  

“I chose Patrick for a few reasons,” said Matthew Pivec, Butler’s Director of Jazz Studies. “He might have the best ‘set of ears’ of any musician I have taught. He has become increasingly dedicated to his craft, learning the jazz language from recordings of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, and Jim Hall, among others. And Patrick has already shown an interest in, and aptitude for, jazz education. He has been a valuable teaching assistant in both the Butler Youth Jazz Program and the Butler Summer Jazz Camp.”

The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation is dedicated to assuring the continued growth and development of jazz and jazz education in Indianapolis and its surrounding communities. 

Wright, who’s working toward a bachelor of arts in music degree with a concentration in jazz studies, has been playing guitar for 12 years. He started with blues and rock, eventually getting into jazz in high school.

“Jazz appeals to me for a lot of reasons,” he said. “One is the virtuosity that surrounds many of its great musicians. Jazz players are students who constantly work to improve their craft. For me, jazz is something I can always progress in. I also feel like I can express a lot more musically through my instrument when I play jazz.”

Wright said he may use the prize money for lessons or perhaps a new amplifier.


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