Apart from his career in the jazz fusion band Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius had two Grammy Award nominations for his self-titled debut album (1976).
He won the readers’ poll for induction into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists so honored (the others being Charles Mingus, Milt Hinton, and Ray Brown), and the only electric bassist to receive this distinction.
- The Pat Metheny Group also honored Pastorius on their album Pat Metheny Group (1978) with the track ”Jaco”. This song was not specifically written for Pastorius. Metheny wrote the song and then realized that the main melody sounded a lot like Pastorius’ ”Come On, Come Over”, and subsequently decided to name the tune for Pastorius.
- English keyboard player Rod Argent includes a track titled “Pastorius Mentioned” on his 1979 album Moving Home.
- In 1985 bassist Jeff Berlin released an instructional video which included the well known Jaco Pastorius track Invitation (actually the title track from his 1983 solo album).
- Miles Davis honored the late bassist on his album Amandla (1989) with the Marcus Miller composition ”Mr. Pastorius”, as Jaco Pastorius was an inspiration for Marcus Miller.
- The song ”Big Country”, by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones from album Left of Cool (1998), contains the opening lick from Pastorius’ ”Continuum”.
- In 2000 bassist Victor Bailey (who had the honour of replacing Jaco Pastorius in Weather Report) did “Continuum” as his tribute to Jaco Pastorius on the Who Loves You album. Live Victor Bailey would always explicitely mention Jaco Pastorius as a major influence on his own style.
- Bass player Brian Bromberg recorded a Pastorius tribute album entitled Jaco (2002), which includes his interpretations of ”Come On, Come Over”, ”The Chicken”, ”Portrait of Tracy”, and more.
- Bassist Victor Wooten honored Jaco Pastorius on his album Soul Circus (2005) on the track ”Bass Tribute”, thanking Pastorius several times. Wooten and Steve Bailey’s Bass Extremesproject includes the tracks ”Glorius Pastorius”, ”Portrait of Tracy”, and also a tribute to Pastorius’ interpretation of Miles Davis’s ”Donna Lee” titled ”Madonna Lee”.
- Guitarist John McLaughlin also honored Pastorius on his album Industrial Zen (2006) with the song ”For Jaco”.
- In 2010, recording artist The Flashbulb released a song titled “Pastorial Whiskers” on the album Love as a Dark Hallway. Nearly all of the bass tracks on the album are played with a Roland Jaco replica and are a homage to Pastorius’ technique.
- Stuart Zender, the original bass player and founding member of Jamiroquai, cites Pastorius as one of his main influences.
Since 1997, an annual birthday event takes place around December 1 in South Florida, hosted by his sons Julius and Felix Pastorius.
On December 2, 2007, the day after what would have been Pastorius’ 56th birthday, a concert called “20th Anniversary (of his death) Tribute to Jaco Pastorius” was held at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, featuring performances by the award-winning Jaco Pastorius Big Band with special guest appearances by Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, David Bargeron, Jimmy Haslip, Gerald Veasley, Pastorius’ sons John and Julius Pastorius, Pastorius’ daughter Mary Pastorius, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Thomas, Jr., and Dana Paul. Also shown were exclusive home movies and rare concert footage as well as video appearances by Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and other luminaries from Pastorius’ life. Almost 20 years after his death, Fender released the Jaco Pastorius Jazz Bass, a fretless instrument from its Artist Series.
On December 1, 2008, on what would have been Pastorius’ 57th birthday, the park in Oakland Park’s new downtown redevelopment was formally named ‘Jaco Pastorius Park’ in honor of its former resident.