Vibraphonist, marimbist, improviser and composer Patricia Brennan “has been widely feted as one of the instrument’s newer leaders.” observed The New York City Jazz Record. She inherited a deep love and appreciation for musical tradition from both parents, as well as being exposed to the musical richness of her native Port of Veracruz. She started studying music at 4 years old, playing latin percussion along salsa records with her father and listening to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records with her mother. Also, around the same age, she started playing piano, influenced by her grandmother who was a concert pianist.
At the age of 17, Patricia was selected from musicians all over the Americas to be part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. During this time, she toured every country in the Americas and performed with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D’Rivera. Before moving to the U. S., Patricia was already performing with the top symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Also, she had already won several awards on marimba competitions and young artist competitions in Mexico and abroad and was featured in the “Líderes Mexicanos” magazine in 2003. She was accepted at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was able to perform alongside high caliber musicians from all over the world and conductors such as Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit. She also performed with the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra and other acclaimed new music groups such as members from Eight Blackbird.
Patricia’s search for freedom in her musical expression led her to find her voice through the vibraphone and mallet percussion in improvisational music and composition.
Patricia was voted the rising star vibraphonist award on Downbeat magazine’s 70th Critics Poll for 2022. Patricia’s extensive sidewoman work includes the Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, Matt Mitchell’s Phalanx Ambassadors, the Webber/Morris Big Band, Tomas Fujiwara’s 7 Poets Trio, Mary Halvorson’s Amaryllis, Grammy winning Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Big Band, amongst other groups and collectives. She has also collaborated with pianist Vijay Iyer as a member of Blind Spot with writer Teju Cole, Iyer’s large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances along with renowned musicians including bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Patricia’s own projects include the solo project MAQUISHTI, MOCH – a collaborative duo with percussionist, drummer and turntablist Noel Brennan (DJ Arktureye), and MORE TOUCH – a quartet with a quite unusual instrumentation: mallet percussion, percussion, drums, and bass. Patricia also is working on debuting a new septet featuring the rhythm section from More Touch and adding Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on alto and sopranino saxophones and Mark Shim on tenor saxophone. Brennan has also been working on a new collaborative duo with trumpeter Adam O’Farrill.
Patricia has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also appeared on National Television, Public Radio, and the BBC radio show “Freeness” hosted by Corey Mwamba.
Patricia has appeared on numerous recordings from classical to improvised music, including an ECM recording with Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus called “The Distance” and a world premiere recording with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach on Ondine Records. See Projects + Discography for full catalog. Patricia’s acclaimed debut solo album “Maquishti”, released on Valley of Search, was included on The New York Times 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2021. Patricia’s latest album, “More Touch”, released in November 2022 on Pyroclastic Records, is already receiving accolades from critics. “More Touch” was included in several Best Jazz Albums of 2022 lists such as NPR Best Music of 2022, Bandcamp Best Jazz Albums of 2022 and PopMatters Best Jazz Albums of 2022. The opener track “Unquiet Respect”, from the record “More Touch”, was listed under NPR’s 100 Best Songs of 2022, a list featuring music from all genres and only including a handful of jazz artists. Patricia is currently working on her third album as a leader, a septet record featuring master improvisers Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on alto and sopranino saxophones, Mark Shim on tenor saxophone, Kim Cass on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums and Mauricio Herrera on percussion. This new album is expected to be released in 2024 also on Pyroclastic Records.
Patricia Brennan is a Valley of Search artist, Pyroclastic Records artist, a BlueHaus Mallets artist, an Audeze artist. Patricia is currently faculty at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at the Jazz Studies program at NYU Steinhardt.