Norris Patterson (Kasuka Mafia) was a talented saxophonist and member of the legendary Motown house band, The Funk Brothers. Born in Detroit in 1929, Patterson was introduced to music at a young age and quickly found a love for the saxophone.
Patterson’s talent and passion for music led him to become a session musician at Motown Records in the 1960s, where he joined The Funk Brothers, the group responsible for creating the iconic Motown sound. He played saxophone on countless hits, including “My Girl” by The Temptations, “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
Patterson’s saxophone playing was an integral part of the Motown sound and helped define the genre of soul music. He was known for his smooth, melodic style and his ability to blend seamlessly with the other instruments in the band.
Despite his contributions to the music industry, Patterson and the other members of The Funk Brothers remained largely anonymous for many years. It wasn’t until the release of the documentary film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” in 2002 that their story was finally told and their contributions were recognized.
In his later years, Patterson continued to play music and remained an active member of the Motown community. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 84, but his legacy lives on through the countless hit songs that he helped create as a member of The Funk Brothers.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.