Basic Background Info

Birth: January 5, 1953
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Band: Pat Metheny Group, Paul Wertico Trio, SBB
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



Paul Wertico became a professional musician when he was fifteen after three years of self-teaching and practice. By listening to jazz, rock, and world music, Paul Wertico developed a unique musical concept. Paul Wertico mimicked the sounds of Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Moon. Paul Wertico then learned to incorporate elements of multiple genres to create his signature sound. He used this skill to become the star soloist in his high school band, which earned him a music scholarship.

After leaving college, Paul Wertico started playing with Joe Daley, Paul Berliner, Ellen McIlwaine, Terry Callier, and the Simon & Bard Group. Paul Wertico also created two co-op bands, Earwax Control and Spontaneous Composition.

In 1983, Paul Wertico joined the Pat Metheny Group. During his eighteen-year tenure with the group, Paul Wertico won seven Grammy Awards. Paul Wertico has also worked with Ken Nordine's Word Jazz program, playing and programming performances for National Public Radio. Paul Wertico has also led several successful bands, including Paul Wertico's Strapagander, Paul Werticoís Quintet Thing, the Paul Wertico Group, Paul Werticoís Wicked Sics, and the Paul Wertico Trio.

Paul Wertico's unique approach garnered him Fusion Drummer of the year from DRUM! Magazine readers in 1997 and top five appearances in Modern Drummer's Electric Jazz poll in 1997 and 1998.

Between 2000 and 2007, Paul Wertico performed with the Polish progressive rock band SBB. While Paul Wertico maintains his base performing with local Chicago artists, he keeps a demanding schedule as a freelance artist, a studio musician, a session player, and an educator.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1963 Jazz Central Station Global Jazz Poll Winners, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1979 Musaic Simon & Bard Band
1982 Everybody Needs It Ellen McIlwaine
1982 Tear It Up Simon & Bard Band
1984 Falcon and the Snowman Pat Metheny
1984 First Circle Pat Metheny Group
1985 On the Future of Aviation Jerry Goodman
1987 Still Life (Talking) Pat Metheny Group
1988 Shock of the New Brad Goode
1988 Usually Always Fred Simon
1989 Arms Around You Eugene Friesen
1989 Letter from Home Pat Metheny Group
1990 Earth: Voices of a Planet Paul Winter Consort
1991 Angel on a Stone Wall Paul Halley
1991 Sleeping Giant Don Bennett
1992 Anthems Paul Winter
1992 Secret Story Pat Metheny
1993 Pat Metheny Group in Concert Pat Metheny Group
1993 Road to You: Recorded Live in Europe Pat Metheny Group
1993 Yin and the Yout Paul Wertico
1994 2 Live Earwax Control
1994 Inside This Song Bobby Lewis
1994 Jazz ¡ Go-Go Various Artists
1994 Passion Flower Bobby Lewis
1994 Shades of Blue Bob Belden
1994 Upper Limbo Ken Nordine
1994 We Live Here Pat Metheny
1995 Close Your Eyes Kurt Elling
1995 Esquire Jazz Collection: Crosstown Traffic Various Artists
1995 Here I Go Again Bobby Lewis
1995 Inner Drive Frank Gregory
1996 Bang! Paul Wertico & Gregg Bendian
1996 Just Found Joy Rich Corpolongo
1996 Quartet Pat Metheny Group
1996 Sanctuary: 20 Years of Windham Hill Various Artists
1996 Sign of 4 Pat Metheny/Derek Baily/George Bendian/P
1996 This World Pat Metheny
1997 Cookin' for You Eddie Marshall
1997 Flugel Gourmet Bobby Lewis
1997 Imaginary Day Pat Metheny
1997 Messenger Kurt Elling
1997 Pandora's Pocket Rex Richardson
1998 Across the Sky Pat Metheny
1998 Blue Box, Vol. 2: Finest Jazz Vocalists Various Artists
1998 Chicago Jazz Tour Various Artists
1998 Live in Warsaw Paul Wertico
1998 This Time It's Love Kurt Elling
1998 Timepeace Terry Callier
1998 Women Who Swing Chicago Various Artists
1999 Blue Note Years, Vol. 7: Blue Note Now & Then Various Artists
1999 Cat's Cradle Tom Gullion
1999 Future Jazz Howard Mandel
1999 Just Havin' Some Fun Boby Lewis
1999 LifeTime Terry Callier
1999 Live for the Moment Willie Schwarz
1999 Mile by Jazz Mile Various Artists
2000 Don't Be Scared Anymore Paul Wertico Trio
2001 Live at the Green Mill Frank Catalano
2001 Stay With It Rob Ryndak
2001 Steam John Williams
2001 Transparent Mask Ken Nordine
2002 Later The Synergy Quartet
2002 Montreal Jazz Festival Various Artists
2002 Trio Live Tournee 2001 SBB
2003 Man in the Air Kurt Elling
2003 Power Trio: Live in Chicago Larry Coryell
2003 State of the Union Laurence Hobgood
2003 Surrender to Love Kindred the Family Soul
2003 Under the Moon Barbara Sfraga
2003 Union Laurence Hobgood
2004 Rarum, Vol. 9: Selected Recordings Pat Metheny
2004 StereoNucleosis Wertico
2004 Tricycles Larry Coryell
2004 True Stereo Various Artists
2005 Uncommon Denominator Mike Phillips
2006 Another Side Paul Wertico
2006 Live in Theatre SBB
2006 New Century SBB
2006 Passport Matt Geraghty Project
2006 Trinity John Moulder
2007 Ampersand Brian Peters/Paul Wertico
2007 Secret Story Pat Metheny
2008 Imaginary Day Live Pat Metheny Group
2008 Impressions: The New York Sessions Larry Coryell
2009 My World Alberto Mizrahi
2009 Impressions of a City Paul Wertico
2009 Bifrost John Moulder
2010 Prime Picks: The Virtuoso Guitar of Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
2011 Breaking the Cycle Marbin
2013 Last Chapter of Dreaming Marbin


  • Serves on the percussion faculty of Northwestern University, the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and the Bloom School of Jazz.
  • Learned to read music in his 6th grade school band.
  • A Chicago native, Paul remains loyal to the midwestern Windy City; in 2004 the Chicago Tribune honored Paul as Chicagoan of the Year.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Paiste
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Remo
Electronics: Shure
Percussion: Factory Metal
Sticks: Pro-Mark

Pics & Clips