A classically trained pianist, Patrice Rushen, has spent a lifetime honing the skills that make her one of the music industry’s most versatile and sought after artists. Considered one of the world’s top jazz pianists, Rushen has performed with many esteemed artists including Quincy Jones, Kenny Burrell, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Hampton, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Michael Jackson and Dianne Reeves, to name just a few. As a classical pianist, she has also performed with many symphony orchestras.
As a Musical Director, Rushen has amassed an impressive list of “firsts”. She was the first woman to serve as Musical Director for the 46th, 47th & 48th Annual Grammy Awards; the first woman in 43 years to serve as Head Composer/Musical Director for the Emmy Awards and the first woman Musical Director of the NAACP Image Awards. Among her many other “firsts”, Rushen has been the only woman Musical Director / Composer for the Peoples Choice Awards and HBO’s Comic Relief.
In addition to her success as a recording artist and musical director, Rushen is also an accomplished composer for film, television, CD albums, an award-winning symphony as well as other symphonic works. Rushen’s feature film composing credits include Men in Black, and Waiting to Exhale. ASCAP honored her publishing company for the song, “Men in Black,” as the 1997 ASCAP Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture. Patrice Rushen has brought her years of extraordinary experience as a performer, composer and music director to benefit young aspiring musicians as a jazz educator.
She mentors young musicians through the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and is a founding member of the Jazz Mentorship Program. Patrice has hosted music workshops at the Watts Art Center and art the REDCAT venue in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2006, she was invited to the Julliard School in New York to teach a Master Jazz class and in April 2008, accepted a professorship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Patrice Rushen has definitely earned the respect she has been awarded by her peers in the music industry. Bring your questions for what is bound to be a very interesting lunch.