Patti Austin to Mentor Students at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Patti Austin is set to teach at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music as the school’s artist-in-residence for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program this fall. The program, named after the late jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, is a two-year graduate level full-scholarship program which allows an ensemble of gifted young jazz musicians to study under the tutelage of visiting performance artists.
Patti Austin is best known for her jazz performances and R&B hits such as In My Life, If I Believed and her duets with James Ingram, Baby Come to Me and How Do You Keep the Music Playing. But her most important contribution to the music industry may just prove to be her efforts in mentoring other artists through the non-profit Over My Shoulder Foundation — an organization that aims to break down barriers between generations and cultures to allow for self-empowerment and the transference of knowledge across the disciplines of music and design—a method which the foundation aptly calls Mentorology.
Patti co-founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation with close friend, songwriter and stone designer Dawn Carroll, a testament to their growing passion for Mentorology or the art and science of mentoring people who need a helping hand to achieve their dreams. Patti articulates the role mentoring played in her personal and professional life, first by her parents and most notably the close guidance of her godparents, Grammy multi-award winner Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington.
“For me, music is the strongest door opener to the hearts and minds of the people. I want to use recorded music, videos, concerts and social networking as the ‘stimulus package’ to re-energize the focus on forward thinking approaches to education as the key factor in eradicating poverty for the coming generation,” said Patti. “Learning should never stop for all age groups. We can empower millions to realize the opportunity to help shape a new society of creative ‘mentorologists’ in all areas of life.”
Through the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program, a two-year graduate level scholarship program led by jazz artists Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Austin will be able to share her expertise which transcends every musical genre. Sitting down with the students from
April 1-3 April 1-2 May 22-23, she will listen to the students play and discuss technical issues such as sound, time, articulation, along with the nuts-and-bolts of their improvisation.
Patti’s mentees are all praise about her. “I’m beginning to live my anticipated dream and I look back on my young life and know that without the mentorship of Patti Austin my fire could have gone out,” remarked Santana Roberts. “Alongside my mom, I want to thank Ms. Austin for being my source of inspiration and continuing to believe in me.”
About the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit education organization, was founded in 1986 by the Monk family and the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. Its mission is to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. All of these programs are offered free of charge to the students and schools, filling a tremendous void in arts education. The Institute’s programs encourage children to develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self-image, and a respect for their own and others’ cultural heritage.
The idea to join the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and UCLA was introduced by the Herb Alpert Foundation, which has provided long-term support to both organizations. The planning process has culminated in a unique UCLA/TMIJ masters program specific to jazz performance. Each student in the highly select group of gifted young musicians accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance is provided a full scholarship. In this performance-based program, the students will study with the Herb Alpert School of Music’s roster of outstanding jazz teachers. Learn more at www.monkinstitute.org.