A consummate artist of the first order, Patti Austin celebrates an incredible sixth decade in the music industry with the BJM Jazz release of Ella: Now & Then, her second recorded tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, following her 2002 Grammy®-nominated best-selling album, For Ella.
Featuring some of the pioneering vocalist’s classic material, Ella: Now & Then finds Grammy®-winner Austin (who declares she’s “busier than ever!”) lending her finely-honed craft to treasures from the vast Fitzgerald legacy, including songs like “Mack the Knife,” “April in Paris,” “Sing Me A Swing Song” and “Lullaby Of Birdland.”
In the past decade, it’s in the world of jazz (a genre that is close to her heart) that Ms. Austin has been building a solid international audience. Aside from a decade-and-a-half of performing live the songs from For Ella worldwide, Ms. Austin was awarded a 2008 Grammy® Award for “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for her best-selling Top 10 Jazz album, Avant-Gershwin.
The New York native is in constant demand globally for live performances, thanks to a legacy of recordings that started in 1955; she continued through the ‘60s with success as a teenage R&B star before establishing herself as a mainstay among jazz and soul audiences through her ‘70s recordings. By the ‘80s Ms. Austin became known to the wider international audience as a result of the Grammy®-nominated “Baby Come to Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”, her early ‘80s classic duets with James Ingram, masterminded by musical godfather Quincy Jones.
Notes Austin: “I'm in an interesting place because I'm 65, I'm not a teenager and yet, for some reason, I seem to have an appeal with younger audiences and now we are creating different platforms to help establish my brand, with a weekly radio show, my mentoring organization (Over My Shoulder) and my new Ella record.”
Unquestionably a 21st century renaissance woman, Patti Austin 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.