MEDIA / EPK


Telephone   617-615-6361
Fax number 866-273-0991
Email
Pat: pat@patbraxton.com
Bookings : bookings@patbraxton.com

Media Specicalist
Carolyn Johnson Jenkins carolyn@patbraxton.com
 




Pat Braxton & The  Band Endorses and Thanks The Following Sponsors 

Regal Tip Percussion Products.
Drum Sticks and Brushes 
www.regaltip.com

Boss~Ten Prodictions
Video Editing and
Music Production 
617-391-8845
www.bosstenproductions.com

Maria Servellon
Chief Photographer 
www.mariaservellon.com

News :
 The Patriot Ledger Newspaper March 17,2016
 

Pat Braxton’s career as a jazz singer came about in the most natural way – she just always loved to sing. The Milton mother is not a product of formal training as much as she is just a lifelong music fan who discovered early on the joy of expressing herself through singing. 
Braxton is headlining The RegattaBar in Harvard Square, Cambridge on Wednesday night. 
“I used to sing for friends and family,” said Braxton. “After a while, I began singing in nursing homes for the seniors, a couple of places in Lower Mills and Boston, where they really seemed to enjoy it. Gradually I began singing at different events. I sang at the Urban League’s 90th Anniversary Gala, and started going to auditions to try and widen my reach. I sang at a Women in Jazz program at MIT and also at an event at Bunker Hill Community College.” 
When her teenage son attended a Saturday program at Berklee College of Music, he got to know Herb Reed of the Platters, and when they played one of Boston’s Pop Arts events the next summer, Braxton was able to open the show for one of her musical favorites. She has also sung at the Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival in Jamaica. 
All of those initial musical forays convinced Braxton she should pursue her love of music further. By 2010 the New Jersey native, who grew up in the Boston area, had released her debut album, “Them There Eyes,” a collection of all Billie Holiday songs. More than one listener has commented that Braxton has a sort of passing resemblance to the late jazz great and her vocals evoke some of Holiday’s grace and passion. Braxton’s second album was a live affair, “Pat Braxton Live at Scullers,” recorded at the Boston club in 2013. (Braxton’s albums are available through her website: patbraxton.com)
These days, Braxton is balancing her musical career, home life, and classes at Bunker Hill, where she is working toward an eventual career in music therapy. Right after the Cambridge show, she’s off to Canada for a handful of gigs in Quebec. On April 30 she’s singing at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, and there are potential gigs shaping up in Japan and Bermuda later this year. 
“I’ve always worked part-time, so I was able to be more flexible about taking music gigs,” said Braxton. “Now, with a couple of albums out, clubs or promoters can go to my website and see what I can do. I like to have fun with the music and if people see you having fun, they do too. I like to bring them back to the old times and the so-called standards are always in style. But I like to be flexible and my shows have a lot of dancing and uptempo stuff too.” 
Braxton loves the Billie Holiday music, but doesn’t want to considered as just a tribute act. 
“Doing the Billie Holiday music for my first album was not entirely my idea,” she explained. “A friend who is a music instructor pointed out the Billie Holiday sound in my voice, and liked how it came across. A lot of people agreed and so I was encouraged to do more and more of it. But when I do her tunes, I try to change it up a bit and give it a lot of my style too. I don’t want to do her songs exactly like she did them. Like ‘God Bless the Child,’ which we released as a single, is a good example of how I do it my way, with my interpretation.” 
Music fans shouldn’t get the impression that Holiday is Braxton’s only influence, either. 
“I grew up loving all those powerhouse female vocalists,” said Braxton. “I dug Aretha Franklin a lot, and also Gladys Knight and the Pips, Patti LaBelle, and especially Anita Baker’s laid-back style. I’ve spent years blending all those sounds in my head, in order to make my own sound. I didn’t have a lot of formal training – a little bit, not a lot. But I have seen a lot of these people in concert, and studied how they sing and how they perform a show. Seeing Aretha in concert, as I have several times – OK, that’s a teaching experience for me.” 
Braxton said she also does covers, too, depending on the audience. “Different venues and different crowds want to hear more than jazz standards. Younger people might want to hear more Motown, and that’s fine with me, because I love Diana Ross and the Supremes, too. Diana Ross is a real connection for me, since of course she played Billie Holiday in the movie ‘Lady Sings the Blues.’ But I try to have fun with all of it, singing these tunes in my own voice, and trying to keep expanding my repertoire.” 
Braxton’s efforts have been recognized, with the Best Female Jazz Artist award in 2012 and 2013 from the New England Urban Music Awards and nominations in the Boston Music Awards and London Urban Music Awards. Reflecting her talent and the immediate respect she’s earned in the jazz world, her backing bands have been mainly comprised of some of the best musicians from Berklee College of Music. Her first couple albums, for example, feature a band led by Roxbury pianist Tuffus Zimbabwe, although he won’t be performing at the RegattaBar show. 
“I liked playing with Tuffus,” said Braxton. “But he’s so busy these days, since he’s now playing with the Saturday Night Live band. (Acclaimed jazz veteran) Frank Wilkins has been playing piano for me over the past year, and the RegattaBar band will also have a guest on saxophone, Erena Terakubo, another good friend from Berklee.”
Braxton has also begun writing some of her own material, basically concentrating on lyrics and consulting her various musician cohorts for guidance on the compositions. 
“I have some ideas I want to develop,” said Braxton. “I get together with the people who can help me put them together with music. Since I wasn’t trained as a musician, I basically go by ear. So mainly I’ve been writing lyrics, but I also have a good idea about how I want these songs to go.” 
“A friend (Rhode Island songwriter) Don Robinson wrote the song ‘My Face’ from my last album and gave it to me,” Braxton noted. “I changed it around a lot, to better fit my style. I have to feel a song to really sing it as well as I want. But ‘My Face’ was one of my favorite songs from that album and Don was present at Scullers that night when we recorded it. He’s already given me some more songs for my next album. But I also want to look back and bring back some of the tunes that people just don’t do any more, so I’m expecting my next album will be a mix of old and new.” 
Braxton sang on a cruise to Nova Scotia last summer, and has received offers of more of that type work, but with her family in Milton, longer commitments are probably not possible. Still, she’s now looking at international offers and planning what looks like an exciting 2016. 
“I know Japan as a country loves jazz and I’ve played there before,” said Braxton. “The last time I was there, the hotel we stayed in even had a jazz lounge, so I’m looking forward to going back there. We have had people in India calling back and forth about a show, so that’s in the mix, too. I’m hoping the show at the Grammy Museum goes well, and gives more people an idea of what I do.” 
“Music fans may be saying ‘Who is Pat Braxton?’” the singer mused, “but if they come to a show they’ll hear songs they know, and have a good time. Even my Billie Holiday album was an attempt to show that she didn’t just sing sad songs, but a lot of fun songs too, like ‘Them There Eyes.’ It’s nice to be compared to someone people consider ‘the First Lady of Jazz,’ but I do a lot more than Billie Holiday music and I do it my own way. I look forward to making people happy, having a good time, and featuring my band too – it’s not all about me. I want people to enjoy the whole experience.”