Pat Cleaver

Biography Pat Cleaver

Pat Cleaver was born in London in 1989, exactly a decade after Bobby Petrov to the day. Many astrologers have claimed that they were therefor predestined to become either the world’s greatest two man kayaking team, or a pretty decent rhythm section. Shortly afterwards, his family moved to Burgundy (France), where he spent most of his childhood trying to explain the subtleties of Monty Python to his friends and pretending to like frog’s legs.

At the age of 6, Pat mistakenly began his musical education by taking classical guitar lessons because nobody told him that wasn’t the cool kind of guitar that he heard on his dad’s Beatles records. Three years later, Pat also picked up the trombone to take his mind off the trauma of France’s victory at the 1998 FIFA world cup, he never managed to kick the habit and can still be heard tooting his horn to this day. He was first exposed to jazz and improvised music at a local summer workshop, where he also downgraded from six strings to four and began playing the electric bass because nobody else wanted to. He quickly switched to double bass in search of an acoustic sound and better paying gigs. During high school, Pat sank deeper into the burgundian jazz scene, spending most of his time hanging out all night at jam sessions and obsessing over late Coltrane records instead of doing his homework.

In 2007, he moved to Belgium to pursue his studies in jazz performance at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (although he’s still not sure what the king had to do with it), eventually obtaining a Bachelors degree. During his time there he took lessons from Jean-Louis Rassinfosse and Christophe Wallemme, as well as leading a busy career as a sideman performing throughout the country.

But he grew tired of living off waffles and beer, and moved to the Netherlands to study in the Masters program at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under the tuition of Ernst Glerum and Frans van der Hoeven, graduating in 2012. It was here that Pat really began exploring composition, mostly as a means to tell other musicians what to do. He has written several pretentiously titled long form pieces, such as “Simulated Randomness”, a suite that explores the deterministic nature of creativity, in relation to the improviser and composer’s personal background (at least that’s what he says). In early 2012, he started experimenting with the possibilities of spectral harmony and microtonality in improvised music (although it could just be his excuse for playing out of tune), resulting in his four part suite “The Church Towers of Amsterdam” based on the sound of the city’s four Carillons. Besides his work at the fringes of jazz, free improv and contemporary classical music, Pat has been known to provide bass lines, backing vocals and the occasional trombone stab for pop bands and singer songwriters, as well as composing for and improvising with contemporary dancers.

Because music is all about winning, Pat is proud to have been awarded several prizes for his highly competitive bass playing including “Best Bassist” at the 2012 Jazz Hoeilaart Competition, “Best Soloist” at the 2014 European Jazz Competition, as well as playing on the triple Icelandic Music Awards winning album “Meatball Evening” with K trio.

In addition to Tin Men, Pat plays in too many bands for his own good, these include K trio, Tessa Rose Jackson, Toms Rudzinskis quartet, Felix Schlarmann Group, Julia Oschewsky Band, Daan Herweg trio, Loran Witteveen trio, Secret Swing Society, and probably a few more by the time you read this. Most of these bands have made records that he’d like you to go out and buy. If you live in or have visited the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Latvia, Lebanon or Canada you might have seen Pat perform at a club or a festival.