Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen is an award-winning musician and composer and one of the most sought-after artists in the music industry. She is a classically trained pianist who originally found success in the '70s and '80s with her signature fusion of jazz, pop, and R&B. During this era, she composed and recorded the hit song “Forget Me Nots,” which has been frequently covered and sampled by other artists.

Rushen is a four-time Grammy nominee who has composed scores for movies and television. She was the first female musical director for many of the entertainment industry’s top award shows, including the Grammys, the Emmys, People’s Choice, the NAACP Image Awards, and HBO’s Comic Relief V.

Considered one of the world's top jazz pianists, she has performed with and produced for such esteemed artists as Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Nancy Wilson, Sheena Easton, Carlos Santana, and Freddie Hubbard. She is an award-winning composer of symphonic music, some of which was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Rushen received an honorary doctorate of music degree in 2005 from Berklee, where she was an ambassador for artistry in education for her outstanding contribution to music and culture. Most recently, she has been appointed Chair of Popular Music at the U.S.C. Thornton School of Music.

Rushen spends time working with the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, NARAS's Grammy in the Schools program, the Young Musicians Program in Northern California, and other organizations dedicated to establishing music education and mentorship programs for underserved youth.

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