By Patricia Adams, in collaboration with Janine & Tom Fondon, UnityFirst.com
“Patricia Adams is having fun. She’s taking more chances with it all, but not audacious, stupid chances. She does things like increase the level of a syllable or shift the phrasing just a smidge. Subtle stuff that holds the real meaning within an improvised translation of verse. And the solid savvy remains. For example, she retains her exemplary repertoire, mixing standards with wonderful songs that never quite make the “chestnut” category but should. Hearing compositions that fly under the radar of most songbirds (such as “I Want To Be Loved” and “If You Could See Me Now”) remains one of the great joys of catching Patricia Adams and friends at Ryles on the first Sunday of each month (and elsewhere around town).” – Stu Vandermark, CADENCE Magazine, March 2006
Patricia Adams, former HR corporate leader and now jazz singer, performs the tunes of Tin Pan Alley and Harlem Renaissance regularly in Cambridge, MA at Ryles Jazz Club, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm singin’ and swingin’ to standing room only crowds the first Sunday of each month.
Patricia grew up loving the jazz tunes heard at home and even sang in both church and school choirs. Working her way through stunning stage fright Patricia ran off the stage when asked to solo at her sixth grade recital. For years she was a closet-singer, waiting until she was alone at home before sitting down at the piano and discovered she loved to sing. Years later, a musician convinced her the ‘butterflies’ she felt were adrenaline aka ‘energy’. It was the beginning.
Stepping onto a nightclub stage for the first time in 1992 at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Adams segued to designated show opener there for the Frank Wilkins Vocal Showcase until 1996. She made the rounds of ‘open mics’ sometimes sitting for hours to sing one tune, but now confident and continuing to hone her stage presence.
Enduring years of rejection, spending much of her own money to advertise, Patricia persevered. Many open mics and pro bono gigs later, she took the plunge and traded her thirty-five year career in human resources management for life as a full time artist.
Experimenting with marketing techniques, sending out press kits and making the obligatory if unproductive follow-up phone calls, her venues now attract those who enjoy the jazz and blues standards of the 1930’s and ’40’s. Her mailing list has grown from family and friends to thousands. She plays with some of the world’s renowned jazz artists, including, Marshall Wood, Bob Moses, Joe Hunt, Bill Wurtzel, John Repucci, Frank Wilkins, Fred Hunter, Ross Schneider, Joe Lovano and Jimmy Hill(d), to name a few.
In addition to clubs, restaurants, museums, libraries and other public venues, Adams plays to the continuing demand of a growing ‘seniors’ market. Her one-woman-shows, singing live to jazz and blues soundtracks make the rounds of area residences for seniors, performing sets of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and other composers from the 1930’s and ‘40’s.
Adams brings her 35 years corporate experience to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA with her business jazz jam for the entrepreneurial musician, Bandleader Toolkit© a collaboration with her late music director, Berklee Professor Ray Santisi. This two-hour workshop explores the nuts and bolts of prospecting, booking and managing gigs and venues.
Earning BS and MBA degrees in the 1960’s, Adams studied music theory, harmony, and improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston and at the Performing Arts School of Worcester in the 1990’s. She studied with Semenya McCord, Dominique Eade and Frank Wilkins in Boston and with Jim Carson, Jeannie Lovetri of Voice Workshop, Sheila Jordan and Kirk Nurock in Manhattan. Read Adams’ Tales From The Practice Room, Jazz Times Magazine 2005/2006 Education Guide, Page 60.
Patricia’s discography includes Symbio Obligato (2010), First Sundays (2008), Live @ Ryles Jazz Club (2005), With Our Compliments! (2004), Out Of This World (2001) which placed in four categories on the 2001 Grammy Awards ballot, Blue For You (1998), and Raw Silk (1996). Her recordings are available through North Country Distributors in Redwood, NY, and on-line through cdBaby.com and Amazon.com. Download singles from CDBaby, iTunes.com, Rhapsody.com and 40 + digital distributors.
Adams is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and served on the board of the New England Conservatory. She is listed in jazz reviewer, Scott Yanow’s “The Jazz Singers.”
Patricia is the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Alger L and Mrs. Jessie Adams of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, founders and publishers of The Westchester County Press, an African-American weekly which recently celebrated 80 years of publication.