Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello all! Suzi Stern here looking ahead toward some notable events in the coming year!
If you live in the Austin area, The Elephant Room will be presenting an evening of romantic music for Valentines Day and the latest Aardvark Records release, LEAP OF HEART is the focus for the evenings music!
Performing with me at this Feb. 11th concert will be: George Oldziey on piano, John Fremgen on bass, Brannen Temple on drums, John Mills on sax and Bob Meyer on trumpet.
The Elephant Room is at 315 Congress Ave. in Austin. (512) 473-2279

And in the early spring:
If you plan to be in or near New York City come join me at: KITANOS on May 19th.
66 Park Ave. N.Y.C. (212) 885-7000
A beautiful room for great listening!
I will be singing with the amazing Bob Rodriguez, Tom Sayek and Steve Varner that evening.

I am wishing each of you a happy, inspired, enlightened and healthy New Year! Thank you for being on my jazz events list and for the support that you continually give to live music.

Much Love,


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our concert got some nice press!


Dylan Thomas set to sounds of toys, instruments, words

By Brad Buchholz


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Once upon a time, three Austin jazz musicians went Christmas shopping. They came home with snow, wistful memories of snow, tall quiet drifts of snow. They also came home with a storybook, a nostalgic Christmas tale by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. And they came home with toys: whistles and bugles and squeaky rubber ducks.

The jazz musicians sat together with their gifts, their memories, their instruments. And then they created a piece of art - part music, part spoken word, part toy symphony - inspired by Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

These three jazzers - singer Suzi Stern, saxophonist Alex Coke and pianist Rich Harney, with newcomer Buddy Mohmed on bass - have been performing this Christmas-time piece for five years now. As Austin holiday traditions go, it is one of the most eclectic: a blend of literature and music, a blend of recitation and improvisation, a little bit of Wales and a little bit of Texas.

The format: Stern recites Thomas' entire story - so rich with rhythm and rhyme that it sounds like poetry - backed by music and Coke's playful sound effects. Along the way, the musicians take left turns out of the text to interpret specific passages as musical pieces. It makes new poetry out of classic literature, inviting listeners to linger in the different moods of the story.

"Dylan Thomas had the ability to recall being young in a profound way that still brings tears to my eyes," says Stern, who sings three original songs crafted from Thomas' text in the performance . "Everything he said, I wish I'd written it.

"It's the most perfect little piece of prose, and it touches me to the quick. I try to read the text exactly as Dylan Thomas did; I try to honor his words exactly. And then it's almost like a digression - where we'll 'repeat' his words in songs based on his lyrics, tapping in to how those words inspired me."

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued seas, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.

- Dylan Thomas, 'A Child's Christmas in Wales'

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) grew up in Swansea, "a crawling, sprawling, slummed, unplanned, jerry-villa'd" seaside town on the southwest coast of Wales. "A Child's Christmas in Wales" is rich with the imagery of his childhood - "when there were wolves in Wales," but not an Xbox in sight.

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" first appeared in Harper's Bazaar Magazine in 1950, fashioned from two shorter essays Thomas composed in the mid-1940s. The magazine paid him $300 for it. A year before his death, the poet recited a version in America for a record album. It is believed that Thomas, an alcoholic, was drunk during the recording session.

Yet the beauty of the prose prevails: the precision of imagery, those "harp-shaped hills," the elegant juxtaposition of winter warmth and winter melancholy . When the piece came out in book form in 1954, The New York Times referred to it as "poetry that shines with an unearthly radiance."

"What I love so much about the poem is the impression of snow," says Stern, who has known the piece since childhood . "I lived in Buffalo, (N.Y.) As a kid, where snow was always in drifts, way over my head. I might as well have been in Wales! These flakes would come down, relentlessly and quietly. The way Dylan Thomas describes the sound and the smell and the taste of snow in so sensual. The way the blue cast is on it. Even though it's night, everything is lit up from the ground up, the little warm houses glowing along this icy blue pathway in the moonlight."

Silent, one-cloud sky
drift on to the sea
Two snowblind travelers lost,
lost on the north hills,
returning home through
the poor streets
where only
a few children
fumbled with red fingers
in the wheel-rutted snow,
wheel-rutted snow.

- Suzi Stern, 'Snow Travelers,' based on 'Wales' text by Dylan Thomas.

Five years ago, Alex Coke was brainstorming with literary friends at the University of Texas. The challenge: how to blend words and music, in an original way, to mark the holidays for the Ransom Center's "Poetry on the Plaza" series. He liked the idea, immediately, when Stern suggested "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

"The original idea was to have a piece of poetry and music that had a narrative structure but was very much improvised," says Coke . "It started off loose, very free. But with each year, there has been a push and pull to it. "

Though Stern gravitated toward the snowy, end-of-season textures in Thomas' work and wrote brooding poem-songs off the text, Coke connected with its sense of play . Sure, he could play lovely winter-wind passages on his flutes. But Coke loves all sounds. He collects toys. So he incorporated all manner of squeaking, blatting, chiming toy-textures into the "Wales" musical narrative - and wrote one passage in which every instrument is a toy.

"Some of my toys have worn out since we wrote this piece," says Coke. "Every few years, I have to go to stores, look for replacements - and that's changed the music a bit, too, as we've added new sounds."

As an aficionado of classic radio serials like "The Shadow," Coke always has appreciated picturesque elements in a world of sound. And so it is that Austin's treatment of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" sometimes feels a bit like a radio show - or a movie musical, for the way the landscape shifts between word and song.

"As many years as I'd read the poem to my children, I feel almost as if I still didn't get what 'A Child's Christmas' was all about when we prepared to stage it for the first time," says Stern. " And even now, something will pop out at me from the text as if it's the first time I ever read it. " 912-2967

'A Child's Christmas in Wales'

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 (doors 7:30)

Where: St. David's Episcopal Church, 304 E. Seventh St.

Cost: $10, discounts for children/seniors


Monday, December 7, 2009

The 5th annual performance of A Child's Christmas in Wales

Greetings all,
the season is upon us...
Hope you can join us for this very special performance-

A Child's Christmas in Wales

An Austin Holiday tradition, A Child's Christmas in Wales returns this year
to St David's Episcopal Church to celebrate the season, giving the gift of Dylan Thomas and improvised jazz.

The glorious, sparkling text of Dylan Thomas' beloved tale of a young boy's delightful Christmas memories, comes alive with original music by Suzi Stern (vocals) and Rich Harney (Piano). Fantastic, beautiful and sometimes hilarious improvisations by Alex Coke (woodwinds and many fascinating toys and tools) as well as astounding colorful expressive solos by Buddy Mohmed (bass) make this an evening for the whole family you won't want to miss. A wonderful way to welcome in the season with a feeling of good will and warmth...great for creative music fans and children of all ages!
Please join Texas jazz musicians Suzi Stern, Alex Coke, Rich Harney and Buddy Mohmed on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 8pm in Bethell Hall at St David's Episcopal Church, 304 E. 7th Street, Austin, Tx for a wonderful evening of music and a classic Christmas tale.
And from the Aardvark Records Catalogue:
A CD recording of the original soundtrack to add to your collection of holiday favorites will be available at the performance.
General admission is $10 with discounts for children and seniors.
For reservations please call (512)440-0915

please visit:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Waterloo Records Sale on our latest C.D!

Thank you to everyone who ventured out in the freezing cold rain this past Tuesday to join us for the LEAP OF HEART c.d. release concert! It was truly a joy to sing in that could hear a pin drop on a ballad, hearing even a breath or the most subtle nuances of a bass solo by John Fremgen , yet the acoustics in that hall could handle the most driving arrangements with Brannen Temple's unbelievable drum solos. George was in heaven getting to play on the newly tuned Steinway, and I thought Bobs horn sounded clear and sweet! We will definitely be booking concerts there again!

As of today at noon "LEAP OF HEAT" is on special, holiday rate sale at Waterloo Records on Lamar in Austin, and will be until Christmas, so that might be a great way to pick up some local color gift-y thing for a friend or loved one! If you're not in Austin check out or or after Dec. 13th and you can purchase a copy on line.

Check out the catalogue with many exciting releases by Austin talent at:

Stay warm, spread love and music around and hope to see you at the next gig!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Join us this Tuesday Dec.1st!

This Tuesday Dec. 1st! C.D. release concert!
Aardvark Records presents:
"leap of heart"
an exciting collaborative project by George Oldziey and Suzi Stern
with Brannen Temple, John Fremgen and Bob Meyer

Beautiful new treatments of classic Jazz standards, and for a change they are not songs about unrequited love, but love found! Complimentary wine and refreshments will be served!

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin
in the main hall with that beautiful Steinway grand piano!

4700 Grover Ave. Austin Texas 78756 (Grover runs parallel with, and is in between N.Lamar and Burnett) the church is a bit south of Koenig Ln.
(512) 452-6168

Tickets are $12
Children under 12 are free!

C.D.s will be for sale at the concert. This might be just the christmas gift for the music lover on your list!

check out

Many thanks to Barry Simon and Aardvark Records.

Monday, November 23, 2009

c.d. Release Concert Dec. 1st!!

Heads up on our exciting c.d. release performance on Tuesday Dec. 1st!

Aardvark Records presents:
a new project by George Oldziey and Suzi Stern
with Brannen Temple, John Fremgen and Bob Meyer
Beautiful new treatments of classic Jazz standards, and for a change they are not songs about unrequited love, but love found!
doors open at 7:30, performance at the artists after the show and enjoy some complimentary refreshments!
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin 4700 Grover, Austin 78756 (512) 452-6168
Tickets are $12 C.D.'s will be for sale at the event!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heads up on our exciting c.d. release performance on Tuesday Dec. 1st!
Aardvark Records presents a new project by George Oldziey and Suzi Stern with Brannen Temple, John Fremgen and Bob Meyer

Beautiful new treatments of classic Jazz standards, and for a change they are not songs about unrequited love, but love found!

doors open at 7:30, performance at the artists after the show and enjoy some refreshments!

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin
4700 Grover

Tickets are $12

Thursday, November 19, 2009

this evening at the Elephant Room Austin

Tonight, Thursday November 19th
from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The Suzi Stern Quintet
Joining me will be...
Rich Harney, George Oldziey, Rob Kazenel, John Fremgen & John Mills
At:The Elephant Room
315 Congress Ave.
Austin Texas
no amazing is that?
I would be so honored to have you there creating the energy that helps make the music!
All the Best,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Suzi Stern's November & December Jazz events

Hello everyone! Here's some news about upcoming events worth checking out (well, in my opinion they're worth checking out! )

What: Circle Thurs. Nov. 19th on your calendar and join us for what is becoming a very rare appearance of the S.S.Q. at the Elephant Room!

Where: The Elephant Room is located at 315 Congress in Austin Texas.
(512) 473-2279 for more info.
The Line up: 2 amazing pianists that evening...George Oldziey and Rich Harney, and on Bass the remarkable John Fremgen, & all the way from Canada to our fair city of Austin Rob Kazenel on drums, and I say this with all sincerity, one of the best tenor saxophonists in the entire world, John Mills. This is such an amazing group of musicians....I'm so honored to be singing with them!

We'll be performing from 9:30p.m. to 1:30a.m. (I know it's sort of late for a Thursday but a little!) It's such a great way to begin the weekend!
Tuesday, December 1st a concert to celebrate the new much talked about...long anticipated new release on Aardvark Records of:
"leap of heart"
with Suzi Stern voice, George Oldziey piano, John Fremgen bass, Brannen Temple drums and Bob Meyer trumpet and Flugelhorn...

Come join us at the beautiful space with an outstanding Steinway grand piano and excellent acoustics!! The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave. in Austin.
doors open at 7:30. This is the way to hear these classic tunes performed with all of the beautiful dynamic range and integrity that George wrote into these new and exciting arrangements. I truly feel it will be a very special event and we would be so honored to have you there to herald in the new recording project!

On Friday Dec. 11th we will once again do our seasonal rendition of:
"A Child's Christmas in Wales"
with Alex Coke sax and toys, Rich Harney piano, Buddy Mohmed bass
Suzi Stern narration and singer of songs
We will be performing this year at: Saint David's (on 304 E. 7th Street) in Austin
from: 8:00 to 9:00 (doors open at 7:30)
There will be a small ticket fee which I'm not sure of yet! More info. to come...stay tuned! The glorious sparkling text is by Dylan Thomas and all of the music is written by yours truly Suzi Stern and Rich Harney, with fantastic, sometimes hilarious improvisations by Alex Coke and astounding colorful expressive solos by Buddy. It's definitely a wonderful way to bring in the season with a feeling of good will and warmth...great for young and old alike!

Looking ahead into 2010: Can you believe how that sounds?? 2010?? Several performances in the Big Apple, en route to festivals in Sweden and some club gigs in Amsterdam...stay tuned for all the details as I firm up and fine tune the events ahead!!

For more info. about the new release you can visit

Hope to see you at all 3 events and I send you my wish for a beautiful healthy autumn and a holiday season filled with music and peace.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Suzi Stern Autumn news!

I'm off to N.Y.C. until mid. October, but I wanted to touch base before leaving Texas!

Circle the dates!

November 19th stop by the Elephant Room on Congress Ave. in Austin, to hear the Suzi Stern Quintet.
John Mills sax, John Fremgen Bass, Rob Kazenel drums and Rich Harney piano.

Looking ahead to our yearly musical tribute to the season, mark your calendars for the annual performance of the Dylan Thomas Classic, A Child's Christmas in Whales...note a new location this year!

December 11th (Friday night) we will be doing our version of Dylan Thomas' A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES at St David's Church, downtown Austin.
The Harry Ransom Center has a new director and has decided NOT to host us this year.
Please mark this date! It may be our only opportunity to present this program publicly.
More information will be coming soon!
Alex Coke plays all sorts of magical wind instruments and musical toys, Rich Harney plays piano, Buddy Mohmed is on acoustic Bass and yours truly, Suzi Stern sings and recites the sparkling text by Thomas. I have composed several tunes inspired by the text that are woven throughout the's always a fun and inspiring event, so mark your calendars and hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video by Victor Engel!

The Sept. 11th Creative Opportunity Orchestra concert in memory of Tina Marsh was a beautiful and emotional evening of energetically charged original compositions by John Mills, Jay Rosen, Rock Savage, Bob Rodreguez and of course Tina Marsh. The vocal lines were done by myself, Susanna Sharpe and Hope Morgan. It was an adventure swimming in those unknown waters at times and an honor to be a part of making that music happen.

The following link takes you to a video done by Victor Engel of last weeks Elephant Room gig. I performed with GATO 6 in Austin, and this particular tune had musicians changing rolls. Pianist George Oldziey switched to the accordion, and John Mills put down his sax to play piano. The song is a composition I recently wrote in memory of Tina.

October has us traveling to N.Y.C. for a conference on Music, sound and engineering. I'll be back in Austin mid October to host a concert for long time friend, jazz guitarist Margaret Slovak on Oct. 26th. feel free to email me for more info. on that upcoming event at

George Oldziey and myself look forward to the December release of our C.D. "LEAP OF HEART" on Aardvark Records, with Brannen Temple and John Fremgen.

See you all in October!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sept. Music Events with Suzi Stern

Hello everyone! I am back in Texas and looking forward to September here. There are a few lovely ways to hear jazz this month in Austin, and I'm involved with the following.

The highlight event is a tribute to my dear dear friend, Tina Marsh.
The Creative Opportunity Orchestra performs, 'Echoes of the Heart', an evening of music dedicated to Tina and her work. It will be held at the Laguna Gloria Amphitheatre on Fri. September 11... Featuring current and past Orchestra members, this concert will honor Tina's voice, music, passion, and deeply felt (and fully lived) worldview of peace and cultural understanding...the show starts at 7:00 p.m. and is located at 3809 W. 35th out under the stars. We hope to see you all there...

On Sat. Sept. 19th I will be performing at the Treehouse just north of Oltorff and S.Congress in Austin, with the wonderful George Oldziey on piano. We play from 7:30 to 10:00 P.M. under a truly amazing old enormous and beautiful oak tree. The weather has shifted and evenings are so pleasant now, so we both hope you'll join us there!

On Thursday, Sept. 24th I am very excited about singing with GATO 6 at the ELEPHANT ROOM at 301 Congress Ave. in Austin. All new arrangements and several new and original compositions will be premiered. I am joined by: Kris Afflerbaugh bass, George Oldziey piano, Wayne Salzmann drums, Conor Brace trumpet and John Mills Sax.
We play from 9:30 to 1:30...I know it's late for a Thursday, but we only play in Austin once every 4 months so come on out!

On other musical fronts, Alex Coke and I continue to perform for a wonderful organization called SYMPHONY OF THE SOUL, which brings music to the elderly or the infirm who find it difficult or impossible to venture out.

George Oldziey, John Fremgen Brannen Temple and I are finished recording a new C.D. which will be available at the holidays!
And make a note that Terrance Blanchard will be coming to HOGG Auditorium at U.T. on the 23rd!

Thanks for checking out my blog and I wish you all the very Best!
Musically Yours,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

new C.D. is in the mix!

Thank you for supporting live and recorded Jazz out of Austin!

When the wonderful folks at K.U.T. radio air our music it seems we instantly move product at the Music stores carrying our C.D.s across Texas. We have noticed that less and less jazz is being given radio air time in Austin this past year, and we want the station to know that there are listeners out there that enjoy listening to this genre.

It would be so helpful, if you are ever sitting near the phone between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m to call in a request to Eklektikos to play any selections off of the Suzi Stern releases they have at their station. Our group has 4 C.D.s out now on Viewpoint Records and most recently Aardvark records, and a new c.d. coming out with George Oldziey and the band this winter.

ALSO: Paul Rays Jazz show is from 8:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M Tues. Wed & Thurs. and this is the ideal spot for our music.

Request line, 471-2345. KUT (90.5)

With thanks and much Love,

Suzi and her band

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Sat. August 15th
7:30 to 10:00 p.m.

Suzi Stern and special guest Clay Moore
performing at:

The Treehouse
2201 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 443-4200
Get directions

enjoy Italian dinner and Jazz on the patio under the magnificent Oak tree. If it's very hot we'll be performing indoors! It might be wise to call for reservations.
We would love to have you join us!
"Jazz guitarist Clay Moore is a rare find on today's jazz scene – a unique voice that strengthens and expands the jazz idiom with sensitivity, clarity, and uncompromising integrity. Clay's warm, expressive tones and impeccable phrasing have been delighting U.S. and international audiences for over 20 years."

"Stern is a gifted artist who simultaneously defines and reinterprets what jazz is today. "
Buffalo Evening News

Check out the latest news about Suzi or order c.d.s on her Web and blog, all found at:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Suzi performs at the Temple Jazz Festival

Check out the link below for info. on the upcoming Temple Jazz Festival.

I'll be performing with an amazing band on Thursday, March 26th.
Joining me will be, John Mills sax, Ben Irom piano, Rob Kazinel drums and Utah Hammrick bass. 

The festival starts at 7:00 p.m. and my group is headlining at 8:30.
Click on the site and scroll down for info. on ticket sales.

I hope to see you there!  It will be an amazing weekend of concerts and jazz clinics with the fantastic Bill Watrous and the incredible Randy Brecker!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feb. News

Feb. 14th
The wonderful George Oldziey will be accompanying me at ROMEOS in Austin on Barton Springs Road this Valentines Day.  We play from 7:00 to 10:00.

Feb. 20th and 21st
Mark your calendars and come join us at Cezannes Jazz Club on Montrose Ave. in Houston Texas.
I am joined by Joe LoCascio, David Craig, Sabastian Whittaker and Woody Witt both evenings.
A truly amazing band!

Then I'm off to N.Y for a couple weeks...back in Austin Texas in March to play the Elephant Room with G.A.T.O. 6  on the 12th.  

Thanks for supporting live jazz and for visiting my blog!  More later!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Joe Locascio

Thanks for checking out my Blog...
I have a spelling correction on world class Jazz pianist Joe Locascio's last name!! Sorry about the earlier error Joe! It is indeed spelled Locascio and he will be performing with me at Cezannes in Houston Texas on Feb. 20th and 21st along with Woody Witt, Sebastian Whittaker, and David Craig.

and a giant "thank you" to D.P. for showing me how to Blogg! Thank you Dianna!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a word about Cezannes in Houston! Check it out!

Houston's home for acoustic jazz. This venue, now in its 17th year, has hosted performances by Randy Brecker, Jimmy Cobb, Eddie Gomez, Joshua Redman, Billy Hart, Tim Hagans, David Liebman, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Tim Armacost, Rick Margitza, Mark Levine and Jason Marsalis among others.
Suzi Stern will be performing on Feb. 20th and 21st 2009.
Address: 4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, Texas
Phone: 713-522-9621

upcoming gigs 2009

If you have plans to be in Houston Texas the weekend of Feb. 20th and 21st stop by Cezannes on Montrose hear some amazing music! Joe Locassio on piano, David Craig bass, Sabastian Whittaker drums, Woody Witt on sax and yours truly, Suzi Stern on vocals! The gig is from 8:30 to midnight.
I will be teaching a jazz vocal clinic on Sat. the 21st from 1:00 to 4:00 at Cezannes as well. Contact Jane Vandevere to learn more about it at:

On the 12th of March I will be performing with G.A.T.O. 6 at The Elephant Room in Austin Texas from 9:30 to 1:30 (3rd and Congress)
G.A.T.O.6 is: George Oldziey piano, J.J.Johnson drums, Kris Afflerbaugh bass, John Mills sax
March 26th come catch my set at the Temple Jazz Festival in Temple Texas with Ben Irom piano, Utah Hammrick bass, John Mills sax and Kyle Thompson drums! Contact Ben for more info. at:
I will also be teaching a jazz vocal clinic that day in Temple...Ben has the info!