Jaco Pastorius

American musician, producer, educator / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III (/ˈɑːk pæˈstɔːriəs/; December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987)[1] was an American jazz bassist, composer and producer. He recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader and was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He also collaborated with other artists, most notably Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell.[2][3] His bass playing employed funk, lyrical solos, bass chords, and innovative harmonics. As of 2017 he was the only electric bassist of seven bassists inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame,[4] and he has been lauded as among the best electric bassists of all time.[5][6]

Quick facts: Jaco Pastorius, Background information, Birth...
Jaco Pastorius
Pastorius in 1980
Background information
Birth nameJohn Francis Anthony Pastorius III
Born(1951-12-01)December 1, 1951
Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 21, 1987(1987-09-21) (aged 35)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, post-bop, funk
  • Musician
  • composer
  • producer
  • Bass guitar
Years active1966–1987

Pastorius suffered from drug addiction and mental health issues and, despite his widespread acclaim, over the latter part of his life he had problems holding down jobs due to his unreliability. In frequent financial difficulties, he was often homeless in the mid-1980s. He died in 1987 as a result of injuries sustained in a beating outside a South Florida after-hours nightclub.[2][7]

Since his death in 1987, his work has continued to be widely influential. He was elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1988 and was the subject of the 2014 documentary film Jaco.