by Lola Rossi-Meza
Patte Purcell brings Jazz Tastings™ Concert Series To The Desert.
A passion for music and promotion is at the heart of a new concert series, Jazz Tastings™ produced by Patte Purcell. The monthly event will feature top names in contemporary jazz starting with guitarist Blake Aaron on Saturday, January 12, from 6 until 9 p.m. at the Emerald Desert RV Resort Ballroom in Palm Desert. Please see the story on pages 3 – 5. Dinner, dancing and great music, a winning combination.
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Purcell, the first of six children; two sisters and three brothers; commented, “We had a Brady Bunch kind of family, lots of love, singing, and laughter, we were blessed.” Her love of jazz came from her pianist Mother, who took her to jazz concerts where she heard Buddy Rich and the Ramsey Lewis Trio. “My Father was a singer in the USO during WWII headed for California. However, as it was meant to be, he attended a dance the night before he was to leave and met my Mom instead.”
Her love of promotion began when she was five years old, producing her first event, a play she wrote called “The Poor Crippled Girl” incorporating her sisters and the neighborhood kids. She created a stage out of blankets on clothes lines and her mother provided lemonade and cookies. Admission was five cents and the neighbors attended. In recalling this she giggled as she thought back to that day. “I’ve always loved to entertain people, even as a child, I came up with dress-up events, including a Miss Mason Street Beauty Pageant at age six and my first dinner party for my friends at age ten. It’s in my blood!”
Her artistic talents were nurtured by her parents. “If we needed money for something we had to earn it. I started babysitting when I was twelve and at fourteen, my Aunt got me a job at Angelo’s Restaurant, where national comedians and other acts performed. I met Redd Foxx, Frankie Lane and Rusty Warren. It fueled my desire to be in the entertainment business.” She sang “Blowing in the Wind” with her sisters and their 4-H Troop sang in the Nebraska State Fair. “I took drama, speech, debate and creative writing classes, designed clothes for my paper dolls, sang and danced, anything I could do, I did.”
She and her husband Len, who died of cancer in 2009, worked together in his glamour photography business, where she learned the art of making people look good. In 1979, they started an entertainment magazine called City Slicker Magazine®. Along with selling advertising, Purcell developed various events featuring fashion shows, cocktail parties with live music, Miss City Slicker beauty contests, holiday events, trips and cruises. Her husband developed a concept to syndicate the magazine and it eventually had twelve editions throughout the country. A second publishing concept called Women’s Edition® was developed by Purcell and is currently in publication in the Midwest.
After a move to California in the mid 1980s, Purcell brought a television concept to the media called The Fashion Show featuring top designers. It was hosted by soap star Jamie Lynn Bauer. In addition, she was the editor and writer for The La Jolla Scene, a social newspaper, while they lived there. They moved to Las Vegas, where she and her husband co-hosted and produced “Quest for the Best” TV show. He encouraged her to start a weekly radio show called “The Next Dimension, Out of this world talk radio” on KLAV.
The show was syndicated on Talk America Radio Network® after only six weeks and became a three hour show. She was dubbed “the Belle of Talk America” (a subtle reference to Art Bell). Her popular show was broadcast to over a hundred radio stations for almost five years. In 1998, she became enthralled with the aroma oxygen bar business and started an internet business with the help of her husband, developing and selling oxygen bar equipment worldwide. She expanded her line and now offers a full line of spa equipment around the world. Her sites are www.o2planet.com and www.oxygenexperience.com.
In the Spring of 2010, she met national Billboard Smooth Jazz artist, saxophonist Will Donato and his band The Art of Sax after her late husband whispered in her ear, “go to the Riviera” one Sunday as she was driving into Palm Springs. Their friendship and her respect for his talent prompted her to hire him and the band for a party in honor of her husband. Along with Donato, she brought in Blake Aaron and Johnny Meza, who also performed the next day at a concert for the Midwest Smooth Jazz Society in Omaha. She was Executive Producer and promoter for Meza‘s CD, The New Standard with Billboard Smooth Jazz hit “Dirty Martini” written by Meza and featuring Donato. It debuted at #26 on the charts. Purcell gives thanks and credit to Donato for all his assistance.
In 2011, she and project partner photographer Bambang Taruna produced TV show “Jazz From the Stars™” featuring some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz with an interview and live music footage. Peter White, Mindi Abair, Brian Bromberg, Michael Paulo, Slim Man and Johnny Meza were all interviewed. She and producer-friend John Gefrom co-produced a TV pilot for Slim Man. “Slim Man Cooks” is currently being reviewed by The Food Network. Purcell’s dream of bringing music to the world and her extensive career, will assure the success of the Jazz Tastings™ Concert Series.