Patrice Rushen to Premiere New Jazz Work for the Carr Center’s 30th Anniversary Year

Patrice Rushen to Premiere New Jazz Work for the Carr Center’s 30th Anniversary Year

Multiple Grammy-Nominated and World-Renowned Composer Patrice Rushen to Premiere New Jazz Work

for the Carr Center’s 30th Anniversary Year

Detroit Concert Culminates Artist’s One-Week Residency with The Carr’s Gathering Orchestra Nonet

(Detroit, MI – May 10, 2022) – The Carr Center, the legacy Black arts presenter located in the heart of Detroit’s downtown cultural district, announces that Grammy-nominated composer and multi-instrumentalist Patrice Rushen will premiere “The Resonate Suite,” featuring The Gathering Orchestra Nonet, a newly commissioned jazz work celebrating the Carr Center’s 30th Anniversary during a special concert on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Detroit School of Arts, 123 Selden Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert event are available at Register to view the live stream of the concert on the website.


This highly anticipated live show will be the culmination of The Carr Center’s Gathering Orchestra Residency, where Rushen – who is the 2022 Artist in Residence – spends one week with the Center’s own The Gathering Orchestra Nonet, directed by Rodney Whitaker. “The Resonate Suite” is composed for three saxophones, trumpet, trombone, piano, drums, bass, and guitar, and features three movements, representing three decades. The new piece will be part of a longer program of jazz works performed by the nine-piece ensemble.


The Gathering Residency is a two-year fellowship program at the Carr Center, under the direction of Whitaker, renowned bassist, a former member of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the Carr Center Resident Artist. The program offers young musicians ages 18 to 28 the opportunity to rehearse and perform with professional mentors on standards, large ensemble classics, new music, and their original compositions. The fellowship has been downsized to nine musicians during the pandemic; as a result, the 2021-22 cohort performed its first international program virtually.


Rushen’s new work was commissioned as part of Resonate, a multi-year collaboration lead by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and the Carr Center that explores the African Diaspora through the lens of contemporary American chamber music.


The classically trained artist is among seven American composers commissioned to create new works to be performed by each of the collaborators during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. Collaborators include Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Carr Center, Oberlin Conservatory, Bowling Green State University, The University of Michigan/Ann Arbor, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University.


The Resonate Project will culminate in a symposium in April 2023, hosted by The Carr Center and chaired by Rushen that will bring together the composers from seven collaborating institutions. In addition, the musicians will perform the works from the seven participating composers.


“We’re very proud to premiere Patrice’s work celebrating thirty years of The Carr Center, especially as part of the Resonate program, where all seven of the commissioned composers are people of color,” says Oliver Ragsdale, Jr., President and CEO of the Carr Center. “All the works composed are chamber music pieces, which will be performed by fewer than ten people and that’s why The Gathering Orchestra is performing it. Patrice’s work is the only jazz-focused composition.”


Originally incorporated as The Arts League of Michigan, Inc., the Carr Center has become one of the leading organizations to present African American arts, in all disciplines, in the country. The center is named for the late Virgil Carr, an arts advocate and community leader, who was the former president and CEO of The United Way of Detroit. The center’s core programs include The Carr Center Artists’ Hub, which is the home to local and regional artists as well as special guest artist residencies; The Carr Center Presents … series of performance, film, and visual arts events for the public, and The Carr Center Arts Academy, an educational umbrella which includes the Saturday Arts Academy for students grades 6 – 8 and the competitive Summer Dance Intensive program designed by Tony Award-winning dancer/choreographer and Emmy Award-winning actress/director, Debbie Allen. The Academy also hosts professional development programs for early-career artists, including The Gathering Orchestra, and the Independent Scholars Program for visual artists. As such, The Carr Center is a key element in the fabric of life in Detroit.

Through program and audience development partnerships with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, Detroit Opera House, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Carr Center has created a variety of innovative artistic initiatives focused on increasing cultural participation for artists and audiences. For more about The Carr Center, click here.


Patrice Rushen is a three-time Grammy-nominated musician and composer who is also one of the most sought-after artists in the music industry. She is a classically trained pianist, vocalist, music director, producer, and educator, and is adept at the flute, clarinet, and percussions. She originally found success in the seventies and eighties with her signature fusion of jazz, pop, and R&B and released fourteen albums.


A Los Angeles native, Rushen has composed scores for movies, television, and symphonic works for several orchestras including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Rushen was the first woman music director for the Grammy Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, and HBO’s “Comic Relief V.” She was the first woman in 43 years to serve as Music Director for the Emmy Awards and the first music director for a late-night television talk show, “The Midnight Hour,” which aired on the CBS Network.


Considered one of the world’s top jazz pianists, she has performed with many esteemed artists across musical genres including Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Lionel Hampton, Carlos Santana, Tom Jones, Nancy Wilson, Michael Jackson, Ndugu Chancler, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, and Lee Ritenour. She was the music director for Janet Jackson’s world tour, “Janet.” Rushen is the Chair of the Popular Music Program at USC’s Thornton School of Music. In 2005, Rushen received an Honorary Doctor of Music from Berklee College of Music.

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