Patrick Hazell can fill up a large hall with up-tempo dance music, or he can create an intimate small-club atmosphere with Jazz-inflected ballads and Blues. His wide repertoire includes R&B standards, as well as many original compositions belted out from the heart and soul. Pat delivers a spontaneous performance suited to each particular setting, be it a large concert, back-country roadhouse, Mississippi River beach party, wedding dance, school assembly, or downtown Blues club.
Hazell gets the sound of a full band by accompanying his vocals with keyboards, foot-powered percussion, and harmonica – all at the same time. But, as one reviewer put it, “Don’t call Hazell a novelty act…he’s a full -blown, throttle-open Blues experience.”
With his “one-man-band” set-up, he continues to stretch and develop an original style that began when he taught himself to play boogie-woogie piano at age 11 in 1956.
Hazell started his professional career in 1960, playing piano in a 3-piece band in Burlington, Iowa. In 1968, he established the Mother Blues Band in Iowa City. Through the 1970s and early ‘80s, Mother Blues toured extensively in the Midwest and achieved legendary status. Just two of the popular and talented artists to come out of the Mother Blues Band, include Bo Ramsey and Sally Weisenberg.
In 1983, Hazell decided a change was needed, and he launched a career as a solo performer. In this format, he was able to expand his music into Europe.
In addition to exposure from his live performances, many of his recordings (28 albums as of 1998), have had significant airplay, both regionally and nationally, and he has been the subject of numerous news articles and television and radio broadcasts throughout his career.
Hazell is affiliated with the Heartland Arts Fund, the Iowa Arts Council, and is listed in the Council’s Arts In Education roster. Funding is available through these programs to finance his appearances in community festivals, concerts, workshops, and educational events.
As an educator, Hazell plays his music and deals with such topics as songwriting, improvisation, and the elements of Jazz and Blues music. In this capacity, he has been an instructor in a special music class at Washington, (Iowa) High School since 1987. Entitled “Advanced Instrumental Music”, the class was spotlighted by Iowa Public Television (Living In Iowa, December 25, 1992) for its innovative approach to music education, allowing the students to create and perform their own music. He has also presented numerous Blues In The Schools programs.
Cub Koda called Patrick Hazell a complete throwback to the recordings of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. He went on to say, “His raspy harp and vocals (sung into the same microphone he plays through), are fortified with strong material, an unrelenting beat, and sensational ambiance as he ekes out a piece of Blues turf that hasn’t been occupied in a very long time. In the current White-boy Blues community – where seemingly every street corner has five people on it with shades, pleated pants and beat up Stratocasters in hand – Patrick Hazell stands out as something very unique and cool.”
The Des Moines Register has called Hazell “a legend in Iowa Music”, and he is considered by many to be one of the finest and most creative harmonica players in the world.
Editor’s note: above info and photo were used with permission from Pat’s website at www.patrickhazell.com