top of page



Associate Professor, Department of Music

Director of Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra

and Director of Jazz Studies

Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA 30314

Associate Professor Dr. Patterson earned his BA Degree in Music from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) in 1957. In 1965 Dr. Patterson earned his Masters of Music Degree from the University of Michigan. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Morris Brown College in 2018.

​Throughout Dr. Patterson's undergraduate years, he engaged in developing and refining his musical talent under Professor Wayman Carver (first to record the flute in jazz) the Band Director at then Clark College. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he entered the United States Army where he organized and directed the Drum and Bugle Corps at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He served in Communications (radio teletype) during his army service and he also performed with the Seventh Army Band in Stuttgart, Germany and throughout Europe. Upon returning to civilian life and earning the Master's of Music degree from the University of Michigan, he also further studied at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) and the University of Wisconsin.


Before beginning his teaching career at Clark College and Clark Atlanta University, Associate Professor Dr. Patterson was employed as the Department Chair and Band Director with the Fulton County Board of Education. While Dr. Patterson explored and refined his musical talent in various types of musical genres, he has, for fifty plus years at Clark Atlanta University, continuously devoted time to training and motivating his students to strive to perfect their musical skills. His excellent guidance and instruction given to his students has been consistently demonstrated by the performance of the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra, as well as the achievements of his students.


The Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra's concept was founded and performed on April 4, 1968 by Associate Professor Patterson, its current and only director. The Jazz Orchestra was then founded and placed in the curriculum in 1976 and also includes the Jazztet and the Clark College Symphony Orchestra. The premise of its founding is to preserve and promote "African diaspora history/culture," jazz, in the purest state. The Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra is free of electronic technology or fusion with other genres.


Under Associate Professor Dr. Patterson's direction, the orchestra has performed locally, nationally and internationally with numerous jazz artists, among them James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones, and Lionel Hampton. Over the years, the group has also performed with such legendary artists as Jon Faddis, Frank Foster, Kenny Burrell, Mary Lou Williams, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, Illinois Jacquet, and Clark Terry. Since 1981, the CAU Jazz Orchestra has performed eight times at the Montreux, Switzerland International Jazz Festival (once with Dizzy Gillespie and once with Quincy Jones). He has performed five times at the North Sea Jazz Festival.


Under the leadership of Associate Professor Dr. James Patterson, the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra continues to carry on the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Legacy.


​In 1994, he founded the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Under the Stars.


He is the co-director of the African American Jazz Caucus, HBCU All Star Big Band,  2002-

Present; People to People Tour of Egypt; toured South Africa with a jazz quartet; served on the advisory board of the Southern Music Conference; Member of the Motown Band, Duke Pearson's Big Band,and performed with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway Orchestras; Auditioned as the Assistant Conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Performer with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Band of Atlanta; Served as Music Director, Arranger and Conductor for the Trumpet Awards-Turner Broadcasting (CNN); First and Second Annual North CarolinaCentral African American Jazz Research Institute (NAJRI) HBCU Jazz Conference/ Festival, North Carolina Central University Durham, North Carolina-Presenter and Panelist; Performer-Director, Annual International Association for Jazz Education Conferences; Directed HBCU's All Star Big Band in the University of Notre Dame Annual Collegiate Jazz Festival; Created the Annual Duke Pearson Summer Jazz Camp; Founder of the Fletcher Henderson/ Wayman Carver Jazz Festival at Clark Atlanta University; Organizer of the Biannual concerts presented by the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra, Jazztet, and Woodwind department; in 1974, initiated the Adjunct Instrumental Program for the Department of Music; Presented honorary degrees to Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones and Congressman John Conyers, Jr.; served as guest conductor for the Atlanta University Center-wide Orchestra.

Associate Professor Dr. James Patterson received invitations by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. to participate (over the past six years) in the Congressional Black Caucus as Panelist, Moderator, and Conference Participant. Board Member and 2020 Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Tuskegee Airmen, Atlanta, Georgia. Vice President Atlanta Federation of Musicians Union local 148-462–of the American Federation of Musicians. Lifetime voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Awards); Delegate to the Atlanta-North Georgia labor Council; Member A. Philip Randolph Institute and Founder and C.E.O. The James Hardy Patterson Foundation, Inc.


“I am honored to chair the Charlie “Yardbird” Parker exhibit that is held at the Jazz Educator Network (JEN) Conference New Orleans, Louisiana 2020.

This exhibit honors Charlie “Bird” Parker as we celebrate his centennial year 2020.”


"A Culture Is a Horrible Possession to lose."

James H. Patterson


Throughout Mr. Waddy’s career he has held positons of responsibility in the technology and security fields. This included the position of Director of Global Data Network Operations, where he was responsible for a technical team of professionals covering multiple disciplines in Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong; Japan; Amsterdam, Holland, and the United States. He held the position of Vice President with Network One. In this role he was responsible for creating, executing, and growing the strategic direction of a multi-city, $50 million voice and data communications network. As entrepreneur, Mr. Waddy has demonstrated keen business acumen. He has successfully owned and operated businesses in the Washington D.C., St. Louis, and Atlanta areas.


Mr. Waddy, an Air Force veteran, currently serves as a security consultant, where he oversees the security operations for a Fortune 500 multi-national corporation. He has been commissioned as a Christian minister and has a passion for social change. He is a strong believer and advocate of societal transformation through the preservation of Jazz and Christian principles. 

"Associate Professor James H. Patterson’s life long dedication to preserving knowledge and the face of African American classical music known as [Jazz] reflects in his national (South Carolina/North Carolina/Georgia) and international research (Cuba, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil and East Africa); an Associate Music Professor; his writings & compositions (one noted in dedicated to honor W.E.B. Dubois) lectures/presentations, Founder and Director of The Clark Atlanta Jazz Orchestra (performances in the U.S. and Internationally in Barbados, Europe and Africa).


Associate Professor Patterson’s experiences are intentionally, culturally and vitally important … as these are some of the reasons The James Hardy Patterson Foundation’s Goals and Mission are committed to educate, promulgate, and preserve, with explicit clarity, in the U.S. House Bill H. Con. Res. 57 passed unanimously by the U.S. Congress in 2011. This Bill confirms African Americans as the source and founders, creatively and significantly, of classical music [Jazz].


I am honored to have been on the team with Associate Professor Patterson and having said ‘YES’ to being The First President of The James Hardy Patterson Foundation, Inc. for two years.


All that I know and am still encouraged to learn is more about African Classical Music [Jazz]. I am indebted to Associate Professor James H. Patterson for sharing his knowledge and research.


Thank You."

louis armstrong stamp.png



It is my ultimate pleasure to share my professional experiences in Development from ‘my cherished look back’ within: Presentational designs—nationally and internationally that focuses on a variety components  within segments of the visual and performing arts gathered for positive community productions, social media formats and public relations (i.e. Museums; Live Theatre Productions, i.e. Adolph Caesar; Concert Designs, i.e. Ahmad Jamal, Hugh Masekela & Odja; Seattle Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees; Educational Programs, i.e. Jacob Lawrence, James Washington; Recording Music Productions; establishing St. Louis chapter National Business League; Team Builder for Grant Writing; Fundraising; establishing Endowments and Foundations) meeting intended desires to extend partnerships within formats of dialogue and folder documentation that hopes to strengthen building continued steps for cultural and community relations.


Therefore, I follow what the intentional Mission and Goals are for best planned outcomes presented to me by: 

James H. Patterson, Founder C.E.O., President James Hardy Patterson Foundation, Inc.


Vice President

Wendell Swain has been ardent supporter of different mediums of African American art. Wendell was born, raised, and educated in California where his parents and others fought to cultivate and instill a love and appreciation of his African American culture. 


After finishing college, Wendell took a position with Pacific Telephone Co. in 1971. In 1984 with the divestiture of the Bell System, Wendell was transitioned to AT&T where he worked at various positions in Marketing until he retired in 1998. 


Wendell was a founding member of San Jose Black Theater Workshop, and acted as their technical director for several years. During his tenure the workshop produced and performed many plays throughout the greater San Jose and Monterey areas. 


After his retirement he worked in sales support positions with Preferred Properties Group of Tracy, CA. 


In 2010 Wendell moved to Rockville, MD where his wife, Diane, accepted a promotion with Kaiser Permanente Mid Atlantic. While in Maryland, Wendell was introduced to The James Hardy Patterson Foundation, and their mission to preserve the historical knowledge and education of African American Classical Music (Jazz and Blues Music). 


In 2015 Wendell moved to Waipahu, HI where, Diane again accepted a promotion with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. He continues to support the foundation, and its vital mission. 


From 2016 until present Wendell has been a member of The James Hardy Patterson Foundation steering committee as well as being a member of the Executive Board of Directors.



Ms. Bobbie W. Britt is a Senior Advisor Analyst, having worked for H&R block for 16 years. During her years she obtained over 1,000 hours of training and served as Office Manager at various offices. She has served as Recording Secretary for David T. Howard High School National Alumni Association (1993-2012) Board and remains Advisor.


"I am honored to serve as Treasurer on the Board of Trustees of The James Hardy Patterson Foundation, Inc. Like James H. Patterson, I am a resident of Atlanta, Georgia. I am lovingly familiar with James H. Patterson’s professional music and national/ international board memberships. I am familiar with his being a noted Scholarly Associate Professor at Clark Atlanta University, who continues to receive requests for presentations about African/African American Culture and orchestral performances in Atlanta, United States and Internationally. I am honored to work with the advisory board and trustees as we interface the mission of awareness in presentations about The James Hardy Foundation, Inc. I consider James H. Patterson an Icon and Legendary Musician, Educator and Lecturer. I am pleased to participate my expertise of being involved in all capacities needed to enlighten many communities about The James Hardy Patterson Foundation, Inc.'s Mission and Purpose."



Marcella serves on the Foundation Development and Program Committee. In 1989 Marcella began pursuing her degree in Instrumental Music Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCATSU) while simultaneously serving in the military National Guard. She is an honorable U.S. Armed Forces veteran who served in “Operation Restore Hope 1992 – Mogadishu Somalia.” While serving in the Armed Forces, Marcella continued developing her musical craft via private lessons to her children and other youngsters.

Upon returning from overseas military service in 2005, she continued to offer private clarinet lessons while serving as a substitute educator to pursue her degree in Food Science. Ms Crook served as an educator in an online guided academic learning program in Colorado Springs, CO and relocated to Atlanta, GA area where she serves as a health safety officer and currently calls home.


Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Co-Founder The Congressional Black Caucus & Author H.R. 57  (May 16, 1929 – October 27, 2019);


Mr. Jimmy Heath, Musician – Composer, Arranger and Saxophonist  (October 25, 1026 – January 19, 2020);


Mrs. Avis Carver-Turner, Retired Educator;


Mrs. Mary Kearney, Founder Fletcher Henderson Foundation;


Mr. Sherman Irby, Composer, Arranger, Lead-Reeds Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. 


Edith Biggers, M.D.


Diane L. Cook

Design Team Manager, Kaiser Permanante


Jovan Edward Gayton, LEED AP

Architect & Developer


Dr. Bertram Leroy Johnson

Senior Chief Economist & International Relations, Barbados


Wendall Swain

Telecommunications Program Manager (Retired)

Chris Belcher, MSW

Musician & Educator


Cultural Excellence In Music Education

Mr. James H. Patterson


Ms. Patricia Waddy Gayton

Mr. Karl Bevins


Mr. Ike Isaacs


Mrs. Truvie Harris


Mr. and Mrs. Hardy Patterson &

Laura Cargile Patterson 


Mrs. Avis Carver-Turner


Mr. Wayman A. Carver


Mr. William “Bill” Coates


Mrs. Mary Adams


ILL FATED AIR - Dr. James H. Patterson
00:00 / 00:00
bottom of page