Patrice Louise Rushen (born September 30) is quite the jazz pianist and R&B singer. She’s also a composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and music director. Her 1982 single, “Forget Me Nots“, received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rushen had great success on the R&B and dance charts. “Haven’t You Heard” went number 7 on the R&B charts, with “Forget Me Nots” as her only top 40 pop hit. Patrice is held high within the Jazz community as one of the Best of her generation on piano.
In her teens, she attended south LA’s Locke High School and went on to earn a degree in music from the University of Southern California. Respectfully known among her legions of fans as “Baby-fingers,” a reference to her small hands. Berklee School of Music bestowed on her, a Doctorate in Music. She is currently holding down an important academic post at the University of Southern California in their school of Performing Arts. all the while being a wife,a mom, and still taking first-calls for recording and production assignments in Television and Films. There are rumors floating around ,she may have been selected to be part of an ambitious Television project involving children and the jazz legacy of Hazel Scott. Who by the way, was a child prodigy just like Patrice. According to unnamed sources,we found out, there’s a new children’s book series(Little Melanie) being developed for Television involving British and American kids in the cast.
Ms. Rushen will supervised the musical aspects. a London-based production studio. London-5-Studios are the executive producers. #LittleMelanieMyGrandPiano, #London5Studios
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy At a recent interview with a Chief Executive at London 5 Studios in England, It was announced that 9 year old Joshua Grant has been selected to the cast of ” Little Melanie” a new TV show still in pre-production development. The show is based on a book conceived and developed by Ms.Melanie Greene, that’s centered around a little girl who is a piano prodigy. “Little Melanie” has a strong commitment to excellence and a dream to one day be as great as her idol, jazz pianist Hazel Scott. the young girl’s character is debuting with a launching of the first book, followed by another 149 + books within the massive children series.
In the TV series, Joshua Grant will portray a character, Aden that plays drums in the TV show Little Melanie Live! This new show promises to dominate children’s television and spawn several movies and merchandise items. Grant has made many appearances on his drums and is very popular among his school mates in Atlanta . Among the most recent shows are the Harry Connick Jr Show where he and other youngsters are jamming with Harry’s TV Band on-air.
Rumors has it, He’s being wooed for another TV appearance by a famous daytime television show host in Hollywood very soon.
If you just happened to be in attendance at many of the early 80s Stevie Wonder concerts and just by chance wondered “Who was that searing angelic voice coming across the microphone over the music?” Well..chances are,that was Ms. Windy Barnes. “Windy” came whirling into Los Angeles as part of the national touring cast of the Hit musical, The WIZ in 1977. while all good things must come to an end, the The Wiz went on to score as a hit movie and quite a brand item. However, Windy’s sights were on bigger fish. Upon getting a call that Stevie Wonder was trying get in touch with her, Stevie heard her voice at a Richard PryorTelethon. Stevie over the Television announced “If anyone knew her to please contact him immediately.. one thing lead to another, they finally connected. Windy spent multiple years as a member of Stevie’s backup group “Wonder Love.”
The experience while singing with the great Stevie Wonder, It was not anything I ever witnessed. During that time in my life, I was actually “Living Inside the Music” While touring with Stevie Wonder. Now known as Windy Barnes-Farrell resides still in Los Angeles suburb with her significant other.
This is Windy’s second time around with the lead role in North On South Central, a NAACP multi award winner, Directed by Ms. Carla DuPree Clark and co-written by Larry Robinson and Tu’nook(Barbara Alexander) TPC.
Windy is the total package, as she is also a prolific entertainer and songwriter too. She has written two originals for this musical,Hold On,Be Strong (co-written by Andre Washington) and “Perfect View” also co-written by Andre Washington ,both are featured songs in the famous night club, Alabam ,which she(Eloise) and her husband owns on Central Avenue during the heyday of “the so-called Black Hollywood” up and down Central avenue.” http://windybarnes.com/
In an interview with me recently, the vivacious Windy Barnes-Farell shared what her early up-bringing was like in Chicago. when she was only 3 years old, She would get up on a box in church and sing gospel songs and entertain the congregation every Sunday . “Barnes-Farrell went on to say, “I don’t think I ever thought I was Not going to be an entertainer. With that dream in her head, she left home at 15 years old by 16 she was working as a professional singer, holding her own among veteran singers and flim-flam artist who wanted to take advantage of her . She got her first big break by joining the Comedian Redd Foxx Tour in early 1970s..Windy was finally on her way to greater things. Windy Barnes Farrell noted for her soulful yet angelic voice, is also an accomplished actor, songwriter, producer and choral director. She has written and produced several CDs, numerous musical events, music videos and jingles that have been featured worldwide. Windy is founder and CEO of WINDY CITY ENTERTAINMENT (WCE), a music production company that develops and mentors singers with the WINDY BARNES INTERNATIONAL VOICE ACADEMY (WBIVA). ” Many of today’s young singers don’t have the proper training to “last, or cut it” with the music business, I would say to them. a. learn how to read music b. seek a coach and learn ear training. c. never let go of your dream.” Windy chimed in.
WCE has provided specialized entertainment for the following successful clients; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows 2007 & 2008, KCET Holiday Celebration, Comedy Central PBS, House of Blues, B.B. Kings, Portman Ritz Carlton – Shanghai, Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Macau, Sirocco – Bangkok, Ed Weinberger, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Lou RawlsEvening of Stars show. Windy has toured extensively with Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias, and Michael Bolton to name drop a few. WindyCityEntertainment.net
Windy has starred in various productions including Jezebel, The Wiz, Gospelrella and Voices. She is the proud recipient of the prestigious HAL Award for Theater Excellence. In addition,Windy has performed on five Continents and currently headlines internationally and locally at various venues in and around Los Angeles. “Windy…one of the most beautiful voices in America” – Julio Iglesias.
Go and Catch Windy as Eloise in the Award winning Musical play North On South Central directed by Carla DuPree-Clark & produced by TPC. Sunday March 26 at 5pm The Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro for ticket info (click on following link) http://www.wgt.tix.com or email this writer at blues2jazz2003@yahoo
Besides being a big fan since “Live at The Cadillac Club” album which was a great JAZZ album played in heavy rotation in Los Angeles during the late 60s on their prime jazz station,KBCA FM 105.1. I believe and was shocked to find that Billy was older than I thought,Also, that both, he and Barry Gordy had a connection in his early Jazz days.
But, the REAL Story for Billy was the hot new deal with “Philly-Soul Cervantes,” Gamble & Huff . Going East album (1971) was a big favorite of mine , The whole album often found itself being played over and over and over again at my house. On my tape player, turn-table and at the clubs on the juke Box, even on the bandstand by cover bands.
The “Ladies” was buzzing about this brother in the leather hat & aviator glasses singing those erotic love songs and with the pleasantly smooth voice. Talking about “LOVE BUDDIES” Followup that big hit with ME & Mrs Jones, Bam! right between the eyes! Another big album Plus!
I saw him at several clubs in L.A. in the 1970s.
2003, I was producing a Jazz Series in San Francisco, Celebrate a Legend: Jazz in July, when I found out he was due at a concert in the SF Bay area the next day. During a special night we were presenting Freddie Hubbard a Congressional Lifetime Achievement ,We brought Billy in for a surprise appearance and presented him with a lifetime award also. a congressional signature by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. That night with a packed house at the Plush Room in Knob Hill, Billy “nailed” The Old Folks” a jazz standard he performed in a cameo spot while getting his award. that was the last time I saw him live …July 2003.
He never stopped touring & singing until Now.. RIP Billy! You always knew THE RIGHT SONG for the RIGHT MOMENT!