*If you’re a Patrice Rushen fan, are in the Los Angeles area and have no extra money to be spending on a concert – this weekend was made just for you.
The maestro behind such R&B classics as “Feels So Real,” “Forget Me Nots” and “Haven’t You Heard” will be performing live on Sunday (June 5) with drummer Ndugu Chancler and special guest, guitarist Doc Powell, at the Warner Center Valley Cultural Center in Woodlands Hills, CA.
“This is kind of fun, to be doing something at home and in a community setting where people can come out for free and enjoy some music,” the LA-born musician tells EUR exclusively. “We’ll do a little bit of everything – a little jazz, a little funk, a little R&B. You’re gonna hear some hits. You know, we’ll have some fun.”
Since unofficially trading studio albums for countless gigs scoring film and television projects – not to mention serving as musical director for numerous awards shows – Rushen has been busy these days sharing her vast musical knowledge with college students – on both coasts.
She currently holds the position of Ambassador for Artistry in Education at Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music, where she received an honorary doctorate degree in 2005. Then, in 2009, the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music recruited its famous alumnus to be an Artist in Residence and Curriculum Consultant for its newly-created Popular Music Department.
“I’ve always done clinics and workshops for specific things like keyboards, or orchestration, or arranging. But of late, a lot of demand has been for people to know more about the skills set that’s required in terms of music direction,” Rushen says.
“I go to Boston to teach there four times a year, for a week each – twice in the fall semester, twice in the spring semester – and then because USC is here and I’m local, and a former Trojan myself, I’m able to do that pretty much whenever they need me. I work primarily with the Popular Music Department’s ensemble, and then I come in periodically to help modify, adjust, tweak and take note on whether or not the curriculum that I’m helping to establish is working.”
And if that’s not enough on her daily To Do list, she’s also doing spot performances all over the country, like the Playboy Jazz Community Concert this Sunday, officially titled 1+ONE featuring Patrice Rushen, Ndugu Chancler, and Doc Powell. Rushen says they’ll take the stage at around 7 p.m.
“We’ll give a solid hour of 150 percent of what we do, who we are,” she promises.
In the meantime, here’s what Patrice told us about the overwhelming demand for her to record a new album.