Extended Bio: Born in Morgues, Switzerland, Patrick Moraz went to school in the Morgues and La Chaux-de Fonds and began studying the violin and piano at the ages of three and four respectively. At the age of nine, he went to primary school in Vevey where he also studied classical music (rhythm, violin, piano, and later trumpet and horns, flute, organ and vibraphone).
After completing classical studies in Latin and ancient Greek at the school of St. Maurice, Patrick continued music lessons at the Conservatory of Lausanne where he studied harmony and counterpoint with Nadia Boulanger, whose students included some of today’s highest regarded musicians, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thompson, Philip Glass and Quincy Jones. Moraz continued studying with jazz violinist Stephan Grapelli, as well as MJQ’s John Lewis.
Patrick’s serious commitment to the piano really began while he was living in the same house as and studying piano from Clara Haskil, Romanian concert pianist who was one of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Mozart and Beethoven.
Patrick first gained attention when, as a teenager, he was awarded the first and youngest award for Best Soloist at the Jazz Festival of Zurich in 1963. This led to Patrick Moraz performing as the opening act for jazz giants John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk. On occasion, famous Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel had Patrick accompany him on piano.
Patrick toured Switzerland and Europe, performing extensively during the early and mid-1960’s. Since then he has made numerous appearances at some of the world’s most prestigious music festivals, including Tokyo Laforet Museum as well as the Tsukuba World Expo, the San Paulo Music Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 1965, Patrick visited North America and Mexico for the first time where he met and played with some of the greatest musicians of the era. 1966’-67’ had Patrick touring and performing in Africa, India and the Middle East and Europe.
Patrick decided to become a full-time professional musician and in 1968 Patrick and Professor Jean Restori formed a revolutionary group called MAINHORSE which recorded and toured England, Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East during the period from 1969 through 1971, opening the eyes of the rock music world to Patrick’s talents. After release of the album "Mainhorse" on Polydor Records, Moraz and Ristori toured Japan and the Far East with a Brazilian Ballet Company for the better part of 1972.
Patrick moved to London in the spring of 1973 and formed the critically acclaimed band Refugee with two English musicians he’d met a few years earlier, Lee Jackson and Brian Davidson (both former members of the NICE).
In August of 1974, Patrick Moraz was invited by YES to become their new keyboardist and member of the band. Moraz proved to be quite at home in this most complex period in YES’s evolution and in fact after only a few weeks of recording and rehearsing, provided what many fans consider to be the band’s pinnacle of artistic creativity… the album "Relayer". During the "Relayer Tour", the group performed virtually non-stop, worldwide, for the next three years. During America’s bicentennial year of celebrations, many of the audiences numbered in excess of 100,000 per concert.
During breaks from band work, all of the members of YES recorded their own solo albums. Patrick’s solo effort, the visionary "Story of I", in the company of Jeff Berlin (bass), Alphonse Mouzon (drums), Ray Gomez (guitar), Andy Newmark (drums) and 16 Brazilian percussionists. "Story if I" was released in 1976 by Atlantic Records and was voted Best Keyboard Album by Keyboard Magazine. Patrick was also named Best New Talent that same year.
Moraz moved to Brazil and learned the native musical languages and idioms of this most exotic land. During previous visits to the country Patrick built a unique band of sixteen percussionists. For over 2 years, the group recorded at numerous recording studios and performed at festivals and concerts, mainly throughout the Latin American Nations.
In 1978, Moraz was called and engaged by the MOODY BLUES to take part in a promotional World Tour for their comeback album "Octave". He first performed with the group in October of that same year and promptly led the band to their resurrection and a #1 album across the board, "Long Distance Voyager".
In addition to circling the globe, performing with the Moodies, Patrick was giving concerts with his own band from Brazil. Invited by Claude Nobs to play at the Montreux and Sao Paolo Jazz Festivals, he met jazz greats George Duke, Stan Getz and Chick Corea, with whom he worked with on 2 albums, along with French bass virtuoso Bunny Brunel.
From 1978, touring extensively with the Moody Blues, Patrick continued to record his solo albums including the revolutionary "Future Memories I" in 1979 and Future Memories II" in 1982 which were chosen to represent Switzerland at the Montreux Golden Rose Festival. They were both spontaneously composed and broadcast live on television throughout Europe.
Early in 1980, Moraz recorded a series of original works based on musical idioms with the pan pipe virtuoso Simon "Syrinx" Stanciu resulting with the album "Co-Existence" (re-released as "Libertate"). This marriage of musical styles, symbolically "erased" cultural boundaries, blending the ancient, melodic tones of the pan pipe wooden flute with modern day synthesizers, electronic keyboards, acoustic piano, ethnic percussions and rock instruments.
After this extraordinary, once again "ahead of its time venture", Patrick continued working as a member of the Moody Blues. He also continued to record and perform as a solo artist, collaborating with fellow YES alumnus Bill Bruford, keyboardist Chick Corea, bass virtuoso Bunny Brunel and guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. Moraz created virtually an endless stream of music, sounds, images and concepts that propelled modern keyboard music through the seventies, eighties and into the nineties.
After 11 years as a member of the Moody Blues, Patrick’s 1991 disassociation from the group left a hole which no single performer has yet been able to fill.
In 1994 he released his ninth solo album, his solo piano debut - "Windows of Time"… Robert Doerschuk of Keyboard Magazine hailed it as a monumental work saying,
"If BEETHOVEN had gigged with YES, he might have wound up sounding like this!"
Patrick’s 1995 "Coming Home America Tours", better known at CHAT, may well be one of the most unique and courageous undertakings yet in an illustrious career marked by innovation In his determination to bring artist and audience closer together, in order to truly share the emotional intensity that is the creative acoustic experience, Patrick took upon himself to go directly to his public by offering private and semi-private bookings via the Internet. The response was immediate and enthusiastic.
With the highly successful completion of the CHAT I and CHAT II tours, captured on CD and video with the release of "PM in Princeton", Patrick is currently rehearsing and recording original music for a new CD project titled, A Way to Freedom. In addition, a solo acoustic piano recording is also being readied for release before the end of the year.