LaBarbera began teaching at Humber College in 1976, at York University in 1985, and at the University of Toronto in 1986. He has also taught privately, at the Banff SFA Jazz Workshop 1977-80 and 1987-8, and at McMaster University 1986-8. In 1977 he became an instructor at the Jamey Abersold summer jazz camps held on US university campuses and in the late 1980s taught at similar camps in Canada. He has also served widely as a clinician and adjudicator - eg, for MusicFest Canada. LaBarbera has played a major role in the development of a generation of Canadian saxophonists. His pupils have included Ron Allen, Rob Bonisolo, Ralph Bowen, Alex Dean, Vern Dorge, Ken Fornetran, Jeff Johnson, Kirk MacDonald, Mike Murley, Mike Sim, Roy Styffe, and Perry White. He wrote a monthly woodwind instruction column 1980-4 for Canadian Musician.
His own playing is in the style of John Coltrane, extended by an encyclopaedic knowledge of improvisational theory and personalized by a certain lyrical sensibility. LaBarbera's quartet (with the pianist George McFetridge and others) has appeared frequently in Toronto clubs, where he has also been heard with the trumpeter Sam Noto and alongside such visiting US musicians as Red Rodney and Chet Baker. In 1989 he toured in Ireland at the head of the Irish quartet Four in One. Several of his compositions (eg, Necessary Evil, October's Child, Minor Blues, Familiar Ground) have been recorded by Elvin Jones.
The Wizard. Prince guitar, McLeod double-bass, Biriaco drums. 1978. Dire Silverline FO-352
The Meeting. Fasoli tenor saxophone, Bonafede piano, Terzano double-bass, Pellegatti drums. 1979. Dire Silverline FO-358
Necessary Evil. McFetridge piano, Thompson double-bass, Pilo drums. (1981). CBC LM-478
Virgo Dance. McFetridge piano, Swainson double-bass, Pilo drums. 1987. Justin Time JUST-24
LaBarbera appears on LPs recorded 1967-73 by Buddy Rich for Pacific Jazz (The New One, Mercy, Mercy, and Buddy and Soul), Liberty (Keep the Customer Satisfied), RCA (A Different Drummer, Rich in London, and Stick It), and Groove Merchant (The Roar of '74), and on albums recorded 1976-85 by Elvin Jones for Vanguard (The Main Force), MPS (Remembrance), Trio (Dear John C, two vols), Palo Alto (Brother John), and Polydor (Live at the Pit Inn). Also, jazz albums with Sam Noto (2-4-5, 1986, Unisson DDA-1007), Bill King, and Chuck Mangione, and pop recordings by Ronney Abramson, Bruce Cockburn, Dan Hill, and others
Quill, Greg. 'Pat LaBarbera,' CanMus, vol 4, Apr 1982
Miller, Mark. 'LaBarbera's hot in best jazz set,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 2 Sep 1982
Sutherland, Greg. 'Pat LaBarbera: man on the move,' The Jazz Report, vol 2, Apr-May 1989
Links to Other Sites
A biography of award-winning jazz saxophonist Alex Dean. From the Canadian Jazz Archive.
See a brief bio of Canadian jazz composer/saxophonist Alex Dean from Cornerstone Records Inc.
A biography of multitalented jazz musician Pat LaBarbera from the Canadian Jazz Archive.