The “OVER MY SHOULDER” Foundation is a unique media-based project whose goal is to raise awareness of the impact of mentoring both cross-culturally and cross-generationally. Inspired by the lead song, “Over My Shoulder,” written by song-writer Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens and Barry Orms and performed by Grammy Award Winner Patti Austin and her “Mentee”, Lianna Gutierrez, the foundation was formed to cultivate the “Art of Mentoring” or “Mentorology” through entertainment-driven products and events.
A consummate artist of the first order, Patti Austin celebrates an incredible sixth decade in the music industry with the release of “Ella: Now & Then,” her second recorded tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, following her 2002 Grammy-nominated best-selling album, “For Ella.”
Featuring some of the pioneering vocalist’s classic material, “Ella: Now & Then” finds Grammy-winner Austin (who declares she’s “busier than ever!”) lending her finely-honed craft to treasures from the vast Fitzgerald legacy including songs like “Mack the Knife,” “April in Paris,” “Sing Me A Swing Song” and “Lullaby Of Birdland.”
In the past decade, it’s in the world of jazz (a genre that is close to her heart) that Patti has been building a solid international audience: aside from a decade-and-a-half of performing live the songs from “For Ella” worldwide, Patti was justifiably awarded a 2008 Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for her best-selling Top 10 Jazz album, “Avant-Gershwin.”
The New York native is in constant demand globally for live performances, thanks to a legacy of recordings that started in 1955, continued through the ‘60s with success as a teenage R&B star before establishing herself as a mainstay among jazz and soul audiences through her ‘70s recordings. By the ‘80s, Austin became known to the wider international audience as a result of the Grammy-nominated “Baby Come To Me” and “How Do You Keep The Music Playing”, her early ‘80s classic duets with James Ingram, masterminded by musical godfather Quincy Jones.
Notes Austin, “I’m in an interesting place because I’m 66, I’m not a teenager and yet, for some reason, I seem to have an appeal with younger audiences and now we are creating different platforms to help establish my brand, with a weekly radio show, my mentoring organization (Over My Shoulder) and my new Ella record.”
Unquestionably, a 21st century renaissance woman, Patti Austin continues to create milestones in an incredible career; a further testament to her status as a member of that rare breed: a true artist whose creativity knows no limits.