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Patrick O'Hearn

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An unlikely new age stalwart and musical renaissance man, composer/multi-instrumentalist Patrick O'Hearn started his career as a prominent jazz bassist (Charles Lloyd, Dexter Gordon), then became a Frank Zappa sideman, and later found fame as the bass player/synthesist for new wave group Missing Persons. Turning to electronic music, his first album of keyboard instrumentals, Ancient Dreams, was produced by Peter Baumann and released in 1990 on Private Music, Baumann's own label. O'Hearn signed to Windham Hill, resulting in several popular and critically acclaimed recordings, then went on to self-release several Grammy-nominated albums. His bass-heavy, hypnotic compositions have garnered him attention in Hollywood, where he has composed several film scores. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Oregon, O'Hearn was exposed to a wide variety of music by his parents, who were both working musicians. Though he studied cello, violin, and flute, he gained early experience playing bass with his parents' lounge act. As his musicianship began to excel, he found himself accompanying jazz greats like Joe Henderson, Joe Pass, Tony Williams, and Charles Lloyd. While living in San Francisco in the mid-'70s, he played with Frank Zappa and co-founded the visionary progressive band Group 87 with Mark Isham and Peter Maunu before joining Missing Persons. O'Hearn's solo style reflects all of these experiences within the context of a highly personal electronic sound. With the dawn of the new millennium, O'Hearn began releasing his own production albums, beginning with So Flows the Current. ~ Linda Kohanov

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September 6, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s