Patti crosses all musical genres, has made 16 solo albums, and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the Grammys and the Oscars. As a performer, songwriter and vocalist she has had a star-studded career that began at the age of four, making her one of the most beloved artists literally the world over. She is Patti Austin – whose extraordinary career continues to cross over boundaries and reach new heights.
These days, Patti is constantly on tour performing with her band of various configurations to suit the desires of her very diverse fan base. Lately, she has become a favorite of symphonies around the world. These performances usually generate several standing ovations, especially when she recreates her work with the WDR Big Band from Cologne, Germany. She recorded For Ella, her critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in Cologne.
Patti celebrates the title of one of her biggest hits, “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?” by signing an exclusive recording and media project development deal with Rendezvous Entertainment. Her first offering with Rendezvous will be the early 2007 release of Avant-Gershwin, a new and adventurous big band rendering of Gershwin songs. Again, for Avant-Gershwin, Patti worked her magic with the WDR Big Band. Audiences will find her performing her Gershwin and Ella tributes with the symphonies and the big bands of Duke Ellington, John Clayton and Count Basie for years to come.
She has written and created her own one-woman show, and co-created the musical extravaganza Beboperella, a modern-day, music-driven show that brings the sound and spirit of bebop to a new generation. She also is the co-creator of Oh Freedom, a show exploring the African-American quest for freedom and equality in America. Oh Freedom debuted in San Francisco and will soon go on the road starring – who else? – Patti Austin.
Austin, the daughter of a jazz trombonist and goddaughter of musical legends Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington, made her stage debut with Washington at the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. During the 70s she was the undisputed “queen” of the New York jingle session scene. Her voice was heard on literally hundreds of commercials, behind everyone from Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and Joe Cocker to Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross and Diana Ross. At the beginning of the 80’s, Quincy Jones gave Patti exposure to a wider audience through her participation on his best-selling album Stuff Like That and the Grammy-winning classic The Dude. Her debut album for Quincy’s Qwest label included the chart-topping hit “Baby Come To Me,” a now classic duet with James Ingram. The pair reprised their success with the Oscar nominated “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”
Patti’s initial association with Qwest resulted in the albums Patti Austin, Getting’ Away With Murder (featuring the Jam-and-Lewis-produced R&B smash “The Heat of Heat”).
In 1988, Patti released the magnificent David Pack-produced The Real Me. Featuring a powerful collection of pop and jazz standards including “Cry Me A River, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and Mood Indigo,” The Real Me remains one of the most popular items in the Austin catalog. Focusing as it does on timeless standards, For Ella, released in 2002, extends and expands the thematic approach of The Real Me, focusing on some of Ella Fitzgerald’s greatest songs.
In 1989 Patti signed with GRP Records, starting a four-year stint with the label with “Christmas Time Is Here” from Happy Anniversary Charlie Brown. Other top-selling recordings followed, including 1991’s Carry On, Love is Gonna Getcha (featuring the across-the-board hit “Through the Test of Time”), That Secret Place and Patti Austin Live (recorded at New York’s Bottom Line), which showcased her more-than-ample standup comedic skills and brilliant impersonations.
In recent years, Patti has performed extensively throughout the Far East, where she is immensely popular. In addition to her international endeavors, Patti has devoted a lot of time performing for AIDS-related organizations and has appeared in several benefit concerts in San Francisco and Los Angeles, titled as Papillion, with Asian superstar Francis Yip to educate the Asian Pacific Islander community about hepatitis three. Austin also took part in the ’93 and ’97 Colors of Christmas tours with longtime friends and colleagues Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack, James Ingram and Jeffrey Osborne. Frequently seen on television, Patti’s more playful side has been given full vent with guest appearances on shows like Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, The Dr. Ruth Show, Joan Rivers, Arsenio Hall and a guest-starring role on the TV show For Your Love.
In addition to her For Ella tribute on Playboy Jazz (distributed through Concord), her Concord jazz album In and Out of Love, spent almost two years on the contemporary jazz charts, while the critically-acclaimed Street of Dreams, included Patti’s timeless renditions of such tunes as “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and “I Only Have Eyes For You.” In 1999 Patti added her vocal magic to Quincy Jones’ From Q With Love Vols. 1&2 via the standout track, “If This Time Is the Last Time” and in 2000, she recorded On The Way to Love, a superb Warner Brothers album produced by Paul Brown.
With recording commitments and touring engagements already confirmed for 2007 and beyond, Patti can look at her latest accomplishments with much justifiable pride. She continues to create milestones in an incredible career; a further testament to her status as a member of that rare breed: a true artist whose creativity knows no limits.