Patrick has been messing with music most of his life, beginning with his tricycle round the dining room table to the Teddy Bear's Picnic and the Funniest Song in the World (Grocho Marx). A wee encounter with the violin at 13 and a slightly longer bump with piano followed but all was trumped during a 6 month period in 1962-3 during which he heard Josh White, The Clancy Brothers, Bud and Travis, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. A cheap Yamaha guitar and endless hours in the basement followed; singing and strumming and, eventually, fingerpicking, frequenting a night time 'coffee-house' on Davie St. in downtown Vancouver, and gigs throughout the lower mainland.
Over series of engagements at the Agora in Portland, Ore. between 1967-69, Patrick met and spent time with Jon Adams in his last homely house in Brightwood on the west slopes of Mt. Hood and, through him and Phil Landress, met Mark Speolstra, Mayne Smith, Mitch Greenhill, Larry Hanks, Kenny Hall, and many of the Berkley-Fresno-Bakersfield old-time folk community who gathered annually @ Sweet's Mill on the west slopes of the Sierras.
After moving 'back to the land' near Nelson in the Kootenays in 1972, he was a charter member (with Dan Fry and Phil Gagnon) of Loafer's Glory, bringing old-time string band music and live square dancing to folks throughout the BC interior and the west coast -- from Hornby Island to Dawson Creek (even Stettler, Alberta).
When a music program appeared at DTUC in Nelson he completed the 2-year certificate (while running the student pub and coffeehouse) and left to complete a music degree at YorkU in Toronto in 1984. Meeting fiddler-mandolinist-guitarist Geoff Somers led to a 3-year stint as a TTC subway musician from 86-89 (other licence holders in those years included Oliver Schroer and Don Ross). Geoff & Patrick also found time make a demo cassette, to play at several Ontario festivals including Blue Skies, Festival of Friends, Owen Sound, and Bradstock, and were were featured performers for 3 years in the Toronto Music in the Park program.
Sadly, playing music faded into the background in the late-90s after he completed undergrad and graduate degrees in musicology, pushed aside by teaching full-time, paying back student loans, and continuing to help raise two lovely daughters. There was also a small wine agency to manage and in this connection trips to France with his wife (and French native) Dominique began planting the sounds of ubiquitous accordéons in some small corner of his latent musical mind.
By 2007, he was beginning to pay closer attention, trying to puzzle out the mesmerizing array of buttons, and realizing that here was an instrument of great potential. Seeing the young firebrand Gwénola Maheux play up close and then hearing the incomparable Richard Galliano cinched the deal and he returned to Toronto in August 2008 determined to learn to play the thing.
Finding an CBA was a challenge but, thanks to Rudi DeFlorio, by mid-September he owned a classic 1974 Hohner Marino Artiste IV N -- all 27 pounds of it! As fate would have it, only ten days later a small stroke put him in hospital and led to a long-anticipated medical decision to replace his congenitally faulty aortic valve. Surgery was in late January 2009 — he began to blow the Accordina for the first time in May and was able to resume sitting with the Marino in the winter of 2009/10. He traded the massive Hohner in for a lovely (lighter) new Paolo Soprani in 2011 and in June 2015 he visited Castelfidardo, Italy, and purchased a Scandalli Air IV C that was just being readied for shipment to NA. After a bit of a transportation 'saga' she has been with him in Toronto since September 2015 and most everything else has taken a back seat.
In my (humble) opinion, people instinctively breathe along with the pumpable instrument, hypnotized to see the huffing & puffing, inspiring tangos & other mating dances. Like John Travolta in West Side Story, they want to fling off their jackets & throw their partners to the floor. Accordions have this effect on people. Jon Adams