Patrice Williamson Group
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Patrice Williamson Group

Watertown, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | SELF

Watertown, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1997
Band Jazz Soul


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Review"

"Singer / performer/ composer / producer Patrice Williamson's second album Free To Dream shows the growth and maturity she's undergone since her sensational debut release My Shining Hour. I particularly liked "The Gentle Rain" for its moving flute solos. Her vocalese on the stylish "In The Loop" is reminiscent of the late great Sarah Vaughn for its precision and clarity and range. Her interpretation of "My Love Is" is sassy and filled with a confident stride. Mark Shilansky's arrangement of the Stevie Wonder gem "Another Star" has a haunting, exotic quality to it, Patrice delivering the melody in clear, confident tones.

Named "Best Jazz Vocalist" in Boston Magazine's 1997 "Best of Boston" awards, the talent and versatility of Patrice Williamson is even more obvious here as she sings and plays flute on a suite of sweet songs, many of which she wrote the lyrics and/or co-wrote the music for. This graduate of the University of Tennessee and the New England Conservatory of Music also produced this excellent CD. Patrice Williamson is definitely a rising talent in the jazz world...not just a rising vocal talent but a genuine all-around talent. Her grasp of the elements needed to create a good song is evident throughout this CD. Go out and grasp one for yourself."

–Carmen Miller

"CD Review"

Musicians: Patrice Williamson, vocals, leader, flute, composer. Eric Byers on acoustic and electric guitar. Jason Hunter on soprano & tenor saxophone. Keala Kaumeheiwa on acoustic bass. Ron Savage on drums. Mark Shilansky on piano. Kera Washington on percussion.
"Patrice Williamson has a lovely, warm voice, perfectly suited to jazz ballads. Born and reared in Memphis, she became accomplished as a performer on violin, piano, and flute while a teenager.

Free to Dream features Patrice Williamson in a showcase salute to her fine vocal gifts, and she makes such classics as "With a Song in My Heart" and "The Gentle Rain" come alive with new energy and sensitivity, making them perfect reflections for her sensitive voice. There are 13 selections plus a bonus selection titled "Close Your Eyes" (7:07 minutes). Some of the selections include Gershwin's "But Not for Me," the enchanting "The Sound of Music Suite," "Celia," "Alone Together," among others.

This is a top rate collection of jazz vocals by a young female vocalist bound to go far. It is Patrice Williamson at her best. Williamson has a group that follows her lead, and the solo work of the musicians is excellent. Mark Shilansky on piano and Keala Kaumeheiva give some outstanding and unique solo performances, and all musicians give the audience entertaining performances. This collection has one of the finest renditions of the Louis Bonfa/Matt Dubey song "The Gentle Rain" found anywhere in the past several years. Great sounds, great voice!"

–Lee Prosser
Copyright© 2002®. All Rights Reserved.

"CD review"

Free to Dream (River Lily)

"If Free to Dream (River Lily) is fair evidence, Patrice Williamson isn't a singer, she's a one-woman jazz sampler. Serving up a musical smorgasbord that extends from the art-deco urbanity of "Puttin' on the Ritz" to the doe-eyed innocence of a Sound of Music medley (complete with a bouncy "Lonely Goatherd" that could happily share a hillside with Moe Koffman's swingin' shepherd), Williamson remains as stylistically eclectic as the songs she chooses. She soars, swoops and scats up a storm. One minute she's swaying to the easy bossa beat of the self-penned title tune, the next she's dishing up a gorgeous "With a Song in My Heart" seething with pent-up passion. Yet despite the album's chameleonlike quality, Williamson never resorts to imitative tricks. She is a woman of many voices, each distinctly intriguing, all distinctly her own."

–Christopher Loudon
JazzTimes, November 2002 - Jazz Times


My Shining Hour (1998)
Free to Dream (2002)
ESP - 1st Cut (2008)
Pamela Hines' New Christmas (2008)



Patrice Williamsons childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee was filled with song. Her late father, Webster Williamson, an avid amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephens Baptist Church music ministry, introduced his children to both sacred music and the secular styles of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. With the encouragement of her mother, Lillie Rivers Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister, Denise, taking up the violin and making her debut at age four, playing a duet with her sister in front of the St. Stephen's congregation.

From then on, she was hooked on music and performing. To her violin studies, she added piano (at age seven) and flute (at 11). She imagined herself growing into a world-famous concert artist: "I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would say to Johnny Carson the first time I played the flute on The Tonight Show."

Patrice carried the dream into her teens, but chose a "practical" major, communications, when she enrolled at the University of Tennessee. In her second year, however, she realized her heart was elsewhere and decided to major in music. "I remember having to make that phone call home," she says. "I wasn't sure what my parents reaction would be." As it happened, they were supportive. "Well, it's about time," said Lillie. "I didn't know what you were doing in broadcasting when you've been in music all your life."

Her focus remained on classical performance; she served as principal flutist for the opera and symphony orchestras. It wasnt until the conductor of the UT Studio Jazz Orchestra overheard her scatting during a rehearsal break, and immediately offered her a vocal solo, that she considered singing as a possible career path. Encouraged by UT faculty jazz pianist Donald Brown, she headed to New England Conservatory to focus full-time on her voice, under the guidance of award-winning RCA recording artist Dominique Eade.

In Boston, Patrice hit the ground running. Before her Masters degree studies were complete, she was weighing rival offers for a four-month performance engagement at Somersets Bar in Singapore (the countrys premier jazz venue) and further studies at NEC in the schools prestigious Artist Diploma program. In the end, she managed to do both.

A regular at Bostons celebrated Regattabar since1996, she has also appeared in the company of Tony Bennett, James Moody, and Cassandra Wilson at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival; and Danilo Perez and Kevin Mahogony at the Marblehead Jazz Festival. Around the U.S., shes been heard at Bostons Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, Hatch Shell, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; as well as the IDB Cultural Center Concert Series in Washington, DC.

Singapore, having had a taste of her, wanted more; and Patrice has since returned to the scene of her first triumph as a special guest performer in the nations New Years Eve Millennium Celebration; and as part of the Eden Project, an international group of female jazz improvisers who rocked the International Womens Forum in March 2000.

The critics and the jazz community have not been slow to recognize that this talent is for real.

The response to her debut recording, My Shining Hour (released in September 1998) has been overwhelmingly positive, drawing favorable comparisons to legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She was honored with a coveted "Best of Boston" award in 1997, and in 1999 and 2000 was a nominee for "Best Jazz Vocalist" by the Kahlua Boston Music Awards.

Her former teachers, now senior colleagues, are quick with their own praise. Says Dominique Eade, "Patrice is a hard-swinging interpreter and a refreshingly accomplished jazz vocal improviser." Ran Blake, head of NECs Contemporary Improvisation department, sums it up: "Its a breathtaking voice."

Band Members