Luke’s musical versatility has earned him a reputation as a solid, skillful guitarist and a respected sideman. Motivated deeply by the words of his departed friend and mentor Chico Banks. He was fortunate to cross paths with Johnny Dollar, Al Harris, and Steve Smeja.
He started working with Chicago fixture Rodney Brown, who took a chance on the young guitarist and flew Pytel to Phoenix for a gig. Brown’s expansive and somewhat intimidating repertoire forced Luke out of his early comfort zone of shuffles and lumps and into a whole new realm of jazz and R&B. In 2004, he started performing regularly with Liz Mandeville and eventually started freelancing with a number of notable Chicago bands.
In the next few years, Luke’s musicality gained him a reputation as a consummate sideman. He has become a fixture on Chicago’s scene, backing up talents such as Jimmy Burns, Chico Banks, Ronnie Hicks, and Big James, as well as becoming a member of Big Ray’s house band at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, Chicago’s Most Wanted. Luke’s efforts on the circuit’s front lines came to fruition with the formation of his own band in 2008. While there are similar threads that continue from his work supporting other artists, he is now moving forward to forge his own sound.
Marked with his signature solid guitar work, Luke is drawing from multiple genres and focusing on his strong lyrical abilities to tell his own story. Always learning, always listening, and never phoning it in, Luke is poised to start his next chapter as he stays true to himself, and this musical chameleon is ready to deservedly breathe free as a genuine artist.