Born: September 30, 1954 Primary Instrument: Keyboard
Patrice Rushen has broken a lot of barriers in the music business: she's the first woman to be musical director for a major awards show (the Emmys), was musical director for a Janet Jackson world tour, produced movie soundtracks and has succeeded at other traditionally male activities.
She's also a recording artist, writing and producing her own recordings since 1978. Rushen's not as groundbreaking from an artistic perspective, but she does do a number of things very well, including playing piano (she tends to sound like Herbie Hancock in his 60s/early 70s period), singing, composing, and producing sexy- sweet soul and funk. Personnel varies, but she usually has Ready Freddie Washington on bass, and he's worth hearing.
Since the late 80s she's spent most of her time working on television and film scores, guested on a number of jazz and pop albums (including a fine appearance on piano on the Babyface- produced Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack), and even produced an acoustic album for Sheena Easton, No Strings. I haven't found a true fan site yet, but her new label Discovery has put together a decent corporate site.