Pat Thomi

Singles & EPs

About Pat Thomi

Instrumental guitarist Pat Thomi combines influences from the realms of jazz, classical, new age, and ambient music, reaching beyond his performance experience as a fusion guitarist to craft an altogether different sort of fusion. Thomi was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, where his father played classical and jazz piano. Thomi began playing the drums at age seven, eventually picking up piano and guitar as well; he later studied for two years at the renowned Basel Conservatory of Music. For his first major musical venture, Thomi formed a jazz-rock outfit called Ramayana, which played at the great Swiss jazz festivals in Zurich and Montreux. On the recommendation of Swiss bandleader George Gruntz, Thomi traveled to America to attend the Berklee School of Music, where he became fascinated with film composition and the way it used sound to evoke and complement visual images. Thomi elected to stay in the United States, and moved to Los Angeles in 1981, where he continued his guitar studies with Pat Martino and Joe Diorio. Thomi spent much of the '80s playing with modern-day fusion avatars like Jean-Luc Ponty, Gino Vannelli, Joe Vannelli, David Liebman, and L. Subramaniam; he also did a smattering of session work for rock and pop acts, and began contributing soundtrack work to a variety of television commercials, plus the TV series Knight Rider. When Thomi purchased his own 24-track studio, it enabled him to perfect his own music on his own time; the initial result was his 1994 solo debut, Night of the Coral, a mix of progressive and pop jazz fusion sounds produced by Joe Vannelli. Further soundtrack work followed, as Thomi scored the PBS documentary Speed and the Sundance-shown independent film Dry Long So. 1998 found Thomi delving into new age contemporary instrumental territory with his atmospheric second CD, Fairytales, which showcased Thomi's work on acoustic guitar. 2000's Remote Control was a return to virtuosic fret-burning fusion, but it was followed just a year later by Pyramids, which mixed Thomi's soothing acoustic work with gentle electronic and ambient soundscapes. ~ Steve Huey

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