Pat began playing professionally in 1961. He has performed with a wide variety of artists including Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Richard Groove Holmes, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Chick Corea, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Stanley Clark, Eric Kloss, Trudy Pitts, Willis Jackson, Lloyd Price, Woody Herman, Chuck Israels, Charles Earland, Barry Miles and Joe Pesci. Since 1967, Pat has been touring as a leader.
He has been a Recording Artist for Vanguard, Prestige, Warner Brothers, Muse, Columbia, King, Paddlewheel, Evidence, Sony, 32 Jazz, High Note, Milestone, Polydor, Concord, Fantasy, House of Blues, Mythos, Mainstream, Cobblestone, Atlantic and, most currently, Blue Note Records.
Pat has given Guitar and Music Therapy Seminars, Clinics and Master Classes throughout the world, at locations including North Texas State University, G.I.T., Berklee College (Boston and Perugia, Italy), Duquesne University, Teatro Rasi (Ravenna, Italy), LeCentre Culturel (D’Athis Mons, France), University of Washington School of Music, Skidmore College, Musicians Institute, National Guitar Workshop, New York University, Pennsylvania University, Stanford University, The University of Missouri, Roosevelt University (Chicago), Patti Summers Jazz Club (Seattle), Music Tech College (St. Paul), The New School (New York City), Southern Illinois University, The Conservatory of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Cork Festival (Cork, Ireland), Washington University (St. Louis, MO), Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Musictech College (St. Paul, MN), Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU (New York, NY), Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (Hartford, CT), and the University of Maryland.
Pat is currently on the adjunct faculty at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Since the mid 1990s, Pat has received the following awards:
1995 Mellon Jazz Festival / Dedicated in Honor
1996 Philadelphia Alliance “Walk of Fame Award”
1997 National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences “Songs from the Heart Award”
2002 Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, “Live at Yoshi’s”, and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo on ‘All Blues’
2002 National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences “2nd Annual Heroes Award”
2003 Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, “Think Tank”, and best Jazz Instrumental Solo on ‘Africa’.
2004 Guitar Player of the Year, Downbeat Magazine’s 2004 Reader’s Poll
2016 Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes and his wife Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes presented Pat Martino with the “Jazz Legacy” Award