THORNTON SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Patrice Rushen
Ben Alman / Creative Commons

Patrice Rushen chairs the Popular Music Program at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Although her early training was in classical music, she is a jazz pianist and R&B singer perhaps best known for her popular music of the ‘70s and ‘80s. A four-time Grammy nominee, Rushen has also composed scores for television and film.

Rushen was invited to Amherst College to talk about why USC started the Popular Music Program and how it fills an underserved artistic need in America.