Life in Music - Fabio Martinelli
Fabio greets Wayne in Los Angeles

Few artists show bigger integrity than jazz giant, saxophonist and composer, Wayne Shorter. Wayne is 82 and he is a legend who left an indelebile mark throughout his music career: Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Weather Report, and collaborations with virtually everyone in jazz and pop. I encourage you to get inspired and fascinated by his story, which is beautifully told in a great book titled Footprints.
I was so lucky to be able to see him live many times and meet him in person on a number of occasions and the energy, encouragement and inspiration I received from these experiences was incredible. His humour, wisdom and love are simply indescribable.

The Wayne Shorter Quartet (WSQ) creates value on so many levels. Together they are four, and they are one. There is no secret here, but here are some of the key features of their experience:

  • strong friendship and deep mutual respect;
  • complete understanding and command of music and of their instruments;
  • one rule – there are no rules;
  • love and embracing of risk;
  • conscious effort to create something new every night;
  • authenticity, staying true to themselves.
Danilo Perez, Wayne Shorter and Fabio Martinelli
Danilo Perez, Wayne Shorter and Fabio Martinelli

This is a story of integrity. A story of music being at the center, and at the same time it’s much more than music. It’s LIFE that the WSQ is about.

Being a member of the WSQ also requires courage, that’s why they coined the expression “Fear Training” to explain their approach to performing. And “Comprovising”, obviously a mix of composition and improvising, is exactly what is going on onstage.

Life in Music
Fabio with John Patitucci

An anecdote sums up the whole approach of Wayne to making music. On the first rehearsal of the WSQ, Wayne calls the time without saying what they were playing so pianist Danilo Perez, confused on what he was supposed to do, asked him: “Maestro, which tune are we going to play?” and Wayne replied: “Danilo, you cannot rehearse the unknown”. Their making music is an open and strong invitation to embrace life to the fullest, with no fear and with an open heart.

Not only musicians, but virtually every human being can be inspired to do better in anything they’re doing by the example of Wayne Shorter, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.

For further inspiration, please check the letter that Wayne wrote with Herbie Hancock to young musicians.