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Patti Austin: “Do what you know you love, not what you think others may like”

She lives love and sings beauty – Patti Austin is on a crusade for jazz. She grew up in a poor family, but her parents were loving. And her father “brainwashed” her with music. “Music became the thing that stimulates whatever is your feeling and brings a new feeling to your life,” Patti Austin said on Jazz FM. “Music has always been my safe place, the place that I go to be affirmed. That’s why I keep enjoying every time I walk out on the stage and get to do it for an audience. It’s a marvelous gift.”

That’s a gift Patti Austin will share with the Bulgarian audience at her first concert in Sofia tonight at Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. The concert is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald. It is part of The Music of America programme of Cantus Firmus and the America for Bulgaria foundation.

Jazz having come from the African American experience and having flourished in difficult times – depression and WWII, is so vital: “The ability to create something artistic out of that pain, and anguish, and madness is profound. So, the music is profound,” Patti Austin appreciates its legacy. Art is powerful: “We have a tendency to take for granted the things we love the most. Art is a reflection of what is in our heart and it has a great power to bring us together. It can rebuild and touch people’s hearts like nothing else.”

Patti Austin will lead us through that experience with Ella’s music and the stories of her life, so that after the final notes, we “will go out and do great things.” Having created many songs that last forever, here’s her recipe to timelessness: “The music that stays has been created by people who are not making it because they think you might like it, they are making it because they know they love it!”


Video by Hristo Penev

Tonight Patti Austin will be accompanied by the string section of the Classic FM Orchestra and Brass Association big band. Angel Zabersky conducts.

  • You can listen to Svetoslav Nikolov’s interview with Patti Austin using the Audio button.
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