Throwback: Patrice Rushen-You Remind Me

Patrice Rushen was born in Los Angeles and introduced to music at the age of three when she was enrolled in the University Of Southern California’s music preparatory program. She was giving piano recitals by the age of six and absorbing all kinds of music thanks to her parents’ membership in a music buyer’s club. As a teenager she won a solo competition at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival. Her win attracted her first recording contract with Prestige Records resulting in three albums and a reputation as a sought after session player. She moved to Elektra Records in 1978 leaving her jazz focus behind to complete excellent R&B work on the albums Patrice, Pizzazz, Posh, Straight From The Heart, and Now. These albums produced vintage music that is continually mined by the rap world. “Haven’t You Heard,” “Forget Me Nots,” “Number One,” “Remind Me” and “Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)” all come from this time period. But it is a mistake of the casual fan to only make note of her more successful commercial releases because all fourteen of her studio albums are worth acquiring because of her exceptional musicianship. Rushen is not only a keyboardist but a flutist and an accomplished musical director who has earned many firsts in her career. She became the only woman to musically direct the Grammys, NAACP Image, People’s Choice and Newsweek’s American Achievement Awards presentations.She became the first woman in 43 years to musically direct the Emmys. Janet Jackson and Comicview also utilized her talent in the same capacity in addition to her work composing filmscores for such television movies as “The Killing Yard” and “Just A Dream.” She wrote the theme song for The Steve Harvey Show and has composing credits for “Waiting To Exhale,” “Men In Black” and “The Hollywood Shuffle.” Rushen has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and R&B notables throughout her career including Quincy Jones, Wayne Shorter, Prince, Chaka Khan and many more. She wrote an award winning symphony,has performed with Philharmonic orchestras and was the composer in residence with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2000-2001. In 2005 she received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College Of Music in Boston and in 2008 she accepted a professorship at the school. Ms. Rushen stays busy and dedicates a lot of her time working with organizations that are devoted to music education for children in the inner city. Check her out at