The Philadelphia Inquirer / Posted on Sun, Apr. 10, 2005

Pat Martino is one of the country's most esteemed jazz guitarists. Among his seminal recordings are Consciousness, Joyous Lake and El Hombre.

Quotation to live by:

"A problem is a chance for you to do your best." - Duke Ellington.

One of the most positive side effects that comes from doing the best we can do is that any form of criticism no longer effectively praises or condemns the person who's done their best. For them, within their own self-esteem, praise no longer makes it better, and blame no longer makes it worse.

Favorite author, nonfiction:

Thomas Merton.

Favorite poet:

Jim Andrews' visual poetry (experimental writing and design), found at This site contains some very interesting links to other contemporary poets and composers.

Author other people praise but I never liked:

L. Ron Hubbard.

A book that influenced how I live my life:

A Course in Miracles, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Books on my nightstand right now:

The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto and New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton.

TV show I'm not ashamed to admit I watch:


TV show I hate to admit I like:


It's amazing how many times I've enjoyed Kramer, George, Elaine and, of course, Jerry, and the rest of the cast (along with each and every guest artist throughout every episode). Surprisingly again and again.

Movies I love so much I've watched them more than twice:

Amadeus and Powder.

Web site that I visit regularly:

Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive,

Maybe I visit this particular Web site often because when as a child I was first asked, "What would you like to become?," my answer was an astronomer. I think that interest has in some ways remained with me. Furthermore, the pictures taken by the Hubble telescope are absolutely magnificent!

If you turned my car radio on right now, it would be tuned to:

WHYY-FM (90.9) or WRTI-FM (90.1).

Magazines I read regularly:

Mac World, Philadelphia Magazine, Architectural Digest, Interiors, National Geographic, Parabola.

Favorite types of music:

Many types.

Jazz has been the basis of my professional involvement through entertainment, as well as educationally throughout the years. I can't say that this alone is my favorite; it's my profession and I do love it. Most of the time, music has a great deal to do with the effects that come from other individuals I have the opportunity to interact with, and my enjoyment of different types of it comes from the results of those interactions. For me, there's a time and place for everything, and instead of choosing what's comparatively important to me, I allow reality itself to reveal a deeper understanding of my own cultural emotions and how they are influenced by new forms of experience. Different types of music and their distinct "idioms" remain to be no more than traditions. I try hard to remain as neutral as possible as it continues to unfold on its own.

Last performance attended:

Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen at the Kimmel Center.

Recording I play when my soul needs a lift:

The Cambridge Singers' Stillness and Sweet Harmony.

Person in my field whom I most admire:

John Coltrane.

Living person I'd most like to join for dinner and conversation:

Bill Moyers.

If I had the power to order all of the Philadelphia region to read one book, it would be:

First and foremost, I would never desire that power, but one of the books I personally find most rewarding is Gifts from a Course in Miracles:

Accept This Gift, a Gift of Peace, a Gift of Healing, edited by Frances Vaughan and Roger Walsh.

And here's why:

Like a manual when opened at random; (much like Zen), these writings again and again touch deeply upon the joy of love, and provide an "on switch" needed to reactivate virtuous intentions whenever they hide.