James Hardy Patterson is a prominent entertainer, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, and educator who has been active in the music industry for more than 60 years. He is the founder and chief executive officer of the James Hardy Patterson Foundation. Established in 2011, the foundation strives to educate and provide experiences, opportunities, and information regarding jazz and blues music and its historical context. Previously performing with many esteemed musicians, such as Lionel
Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cab Calloway, Mr. Patterson has also lent his expertise to Clark Atlanta University as a professor of music since 1962. Alongside his primary endeavors, he has been the co-director of Big Bands and the African American Jazz Caucus since 2002 and the leader of the James Patterson Jazz Quartet since 1960. In addition, he has been performing with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra since 1970. Most recently directing “What’s Up Down There?” in 2018, he has composed myriad songs, including “Ill- Fates Air,” “Reminiscence,” and “Song for Mr. H.P.” Over the years, he was
provided the opportunity to perform in such countries as Switzerland, Holland, Italy, and France, as well as within the United States.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Patterson served two years in the U.S. Army, during which time he organized and directed the Drum and Bugle Corps at Fort Jackson, SC, and throughout Germany and greater Europe with the Seventh Army Band. During his tenure, he further established the Clark Atlanta University Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Orchestra, taking the latter orchestra on international tours. To remain abreast of developments within the music industry, he sits on the executive board and serves as an officer of the Atlanta Federation of Musicians, and he has sat on the Contracts for Arts Services Advisory Panel (Music Category) for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs. He is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance-World Saxophone Congress, the National Flute Association, the International Clarinet Association, and the International Double Reed Society.
Inspired to delve into music by his parents, who were both talented musicians, Mr. Patterson is most grateful for his deep friendship with Dizzy Gillespie. They often performed at music festivals together. Looking toward the future, Mr. Patterson intends to devote his time fully to the James Hardy Patterson Foundation alongside his teaching and performing duties.
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