Jazz guitarist dies at 77 – Legacy.com
Pat Martino was a jazz guitarist who overcame amnesia after surgery in 1980 and relearned his instrument for a successful second career.
Interrupted musical career
Martino began performing professionally when he was still a teenager and early in his career he worked with musicians such as Lloyd Price and Willis Jackson. In his twenties, Martino began having seizures caused by an arteriovenous malformation. In 1980, one of these seizures nearly killed him and he underwent emergency surgery to remove a large tumor. The operation left him with amnesia and no memory of his career or his way of playing the guitar. He relearned the instrument and was able to regain control of it, releasing his comeback album in 1987. Martino continued to record and perform for most of his life, receiving several Grammy nominations. In 2004, he was named Guitarist of the Year by DownBeat magazine.
“Music is more than just a profession. It is the key to a door that leads to improvement. —Extract from an interview for Play Jazz Guitar
Tribute to Pat Martino
Complete obituary: The New York Times