Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Williamson, Patrice (Munsel)
Williamson, Patrice (Munsel), voice and flute; b. Memphis, TN, 22 October 1967. Her mother is Lillie Rivers Williamson (February 25, 1930). Her father was Webster Franklin Williamson (August 10,1929 - April 24,1997). Her sister is Denise D. Williamson, M.D. (June 22, 1960). Her teachers were Ran Blake, Mark Boling, Donald Brown, Jerry & Patty Coker, Dominique Eade, John McNeil, and Danilo Perez. Patrice Williamson's childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee was filled with song. Her late father, Webster Williamson, an avid amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephen's Baptist Church music ministry, introduced his children to both sacred music and the secular styles of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. With the encouragement of her mother, Lillie Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister, Denise, taking up the violin and making her debut at age four, playing a duet with her sister in front of the St. Stephen's congregation.
From then on, she was hooked on music and performing. To her violin studies, she added piano (at age seven) and flute (at 11). She chose a "practical" major, communications, when she enrolled at the University of Tennessee. In her second year, however, she realized her heart was elsewhere and decided to major in music. Her focus remained on classical performance; she served as principal flutist for the opera & symphony orchestras. It wasn't until the conductor of the UT Studio Jazz Orchestra overheard her scatting during a rehearsal break, and immediately offered her a vocal solo, that she considered singing as a possible career path. Encouraged by UT faculty jazz pianist Donald Brown, she headed to New England Conservatory to focus full-time on her voice, under the guidance of Dominique Eade.
Before her Master's degree studies were complete, she was weighing rival offers for a four-month performance engagement at Somerset's Bar in Singapore and further studies at NEC in the school's prestigious Artist Diploma program. In the end, she managed to do both.
A regular at Boston's celebrated Regattabar since1996, she has also appeared in the company of Tony Bennett, James Moody, & Cassandra Wilson at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival; and Danilo Perez & Kevin Mahogony at the Marblehead Jazz Festival.
Around the U.S., she's been heard at Boston's Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall,; as well as the IDB Cultural Center Concert Series in Washington, DC.
Patrice has since returned to Singapore as a special guest performer in the nation's New Year's Eve Millennium Celebration; and as part of the Eden Project, an international group of female jazz improvisers who played the International Women's Forum in March 2000.
At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, she got her Bachelor of Music Degree-Classical Flute Performance, 1989.At the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA, she got her Master of Music Degree-Jazz Studies, 1994, and Artist Diploma-Jazz Studies, 1998.
She has been on the Voice Faculty, The New School of Music, Cambridge, MA, 2001-Present. Also performs at Cambridge elementary schools in NSM's Music Outreach program. Also, Flute Faculty, New England Conservatory of Music Prep School, Boston, MA, 2001-Present. She was a Resident Artist, Harmon "How to Listen" National Outreach Program, Boston, MA, 2000 and 2002; Performed at local elementary schools. She was also a Voice Instructor and Ensemble Coach, University of South Carolina Summer Jazz Camp, Spartanburg, SC 2000.
She has performed with the Patrice Williamson Group, Rusty Scott Quartet and In The House, General Business band.
My Shining Hour (1998); Free to Dream (2002)
"Live Performance" - WGBH 89.7FM Boston (1995); "Live Performance" - WGBH 89.7FM Boston (1996); "History of Jazz" - MCET (Masssachusetts Channel Educational Television) (1997); "Live Performance" - WGBH 89.7FM Boston (2002); "Live Performance" - WGBH 89.7FM Boston (2003); "Live Performance" - WERS 88.9 FM Boston (1998); "Live Performance" - WERS 88.9FM Boston (2001)
"Live Performance" - Regattabar Cambridge, MA (Videorecording)
1992 -2000 approx. 22 hours of unissued material recorded in Knoxville, TN, Boston, MA Washington, DC & Singapore
8 Days Magazine ( Singapore) - October 1995
Boston Magazine "Best of Boston" issue - August 1997
Boston Herals - September 1998
The Straits Times (Singapore Newspaper) - March 2000
Boston Magazine - September 2002
She was honored with a coveted "Best of Boston" award in 1997, and in 1999 and 2000 was a nominee for "Best Jazz Vocalist" by the Kahlua Boston Music Awards.
JazzReview.com Artist Interview - Getting to Know Patrice Williamson