Paul Wertico

Paul Wertico

Musicians | Instrument: Drums | Location: Chicago

Updated: July 31, 2023

Born: January 5, 1953

Hailed in the press as "One of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today", Paul Wertico was born January 5, 1953 in Chicago. He gained worldwide recognition as a member of the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001. During his tenure with Metheny, Wertico played on ten recordings and four videos, appeared on numerous television shows, and frequently toured around the world. He also won seven Grammy Awards (for "Best Jazz Fusion Performance," "Best Contemporary Jazz Performance," and "Best Rock Instrumental Performance"), magazine polls, and received several gold records.

In recent years, Wertico has continued to tour and perform around the world, as well as around the Chicago metropolitan area, where he is based. This led to the creation of his own band (the Paul Wertico Trio) and collaborations with jazz notables such as Larry Coryell, Kurt Elling, and Jeff Berlin. These collaborations enabled Wertico to be featured on group recordings in a variety of musical genres, and also gave him an opportunity to produce records. In 2009, Wertico's trio joined forces with Marbin, which consisted of Israeli musicians Danny Markovitch (saxophone) and Dani Rabin (guitar). The group performed as Paul Wertico's Mid-East/Mid-West Alliance, and recorded an album for the Chicago Sessions label that received accolades from publications such as the Chicago Tribune, DRUM!, and Modern Drummer. Wertico's current group is Wertico Cain & Gray, featuring multi-instrumentalists David Cain and Larry Gray. A 2013 recording by Wertico Cain & Gray, entitled Sound Portraits, won "Best Live Performance Album" in the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards (2014).

When not touring, Wertico divides his career doing session work, producing, composing, and leading his own groups, as well as teaching. Among the musicians he has played with are: Eddie Harris, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Sam Rivers, Bob Mintzer, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, Jay McShann, Herbie Mann, Randy Brecker, Jerry Goodman, Ramsey Lewis, David Bowie, Charlie Haden, George Coleman, Diane Schuur, Nelson Riddle, Sonny Fortune, Ken Nordine, Tierney Sutton, and many others. Wertico was a member of the Larry Coryell Power Trio until Coryell's death in 2017. From 2000 to 2007, he was a member of the platinum-record-winning Polish progressive rock band, SBB. He is also the inventor of TUBZ, made by Promark, who also makes the “Paul Wertico Signature Hickory Wood Tip Drumstick” (TX808W ).

Wertico played drums on Paul Winter's 1990 Grammy-nominated release, Earth: Voices Of A Planet. He has also played on and produced a number of CDs for artists, including vocalist Kurt Elling's 1995 Grammy-nominated release, Close Your Eyes, as well as Elling's 1997 Grammy-nominated release, The Messenger, 1998 Grammy-nominated release, This Time It's Love, and 2003 Grammy-nominated release, Man In The Air.

Read more


All About Jazz Articles

Album Review
Album Review
In Pictures
Read more articles

Articles Across the Web

...or were mentioned in an All About Jazz article.

Reviews of Impressions Of A City:

"… a wildly unpredictable journey into one man’s apparently inexhaustible sonic imagination. Weird electronic effects, straight-ahead jazz, scorching blues, rock-tinged guitar wails, ambient sounds of the city - it’s all there on the CD… the CD unfolds with a grandeur and over-arching shape that would lead you to conclude vast amount of planning had gone into it… [That the album was completely improvised] helps explain the vitality and spontaneity of the recording but not its high degree of instrumental detail or its sense of cascading climaxes and resolutions

Read more

Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


1968-Present - Teaching Private Drum Lessons
1992-2008 - Drum Set Instructor/Wind & Percussion Faculty of Northwestern University
1994-2001 - Drum Set Instructor/Bloom School of Jazz
2002-2008 - Drum Set Instructor/Jazz Faculty of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts
2007-2008 - Interim Head of Jazz Studies - Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University
2008-2012 - Head of Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts
2008-2014 - Assistant Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts
2014-Present - Associate Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts

Current Private Drum Lesson Rate: $125.00 Per Hour
Lessons Are Made By Appointment

Clinic/Workshop Information

Read more

Artists who share similar musical characteristics to Paul Wertico.

Brian Eaton



All About Jazz user Michaela Rabitsch All About Jazz user Justin Vargo All About Jazz user John Mackill All About Jazz user David Cain All About Jazz user Robert McNeice All About Jazz user Michael Ricci All About Jazz user Manuel Muzzu All About Jazz user Brian Eaton All About Jazz user Ronald Manley All About Jazz user Eatin' Records All About Jazz user Goranm


Game Changer

From: Metamorphosis
By Paul Wertico


From: Trinity
By Paul Wertico