for immediate release
contact: Gerry Fialka 310-306-7330 firstname.lastname@example.org
SUZY WILLIAMS & HER SOLID SENDERS play LIVE SWING JAZZ and JUMP BLUES. More info:310-306-7330 email@example.com Visit: http://www.puddingbench.com/suzy.htm & http://anw.com/rk/pfsuzy
Bring your dancing shoes for the hottest ticket in town.
"Suzy and Her Solid Senders teach old standards (Billie Holiday, Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, Anita O'Day, Fats Waller)new t ricks, but it's their originals that will bring you back for more." - Jazz critic Rex Butters
"Suzy's voice is vibrant and lusty...great gusto and bold emotion." - Nat Hentoff.
"If a 1940s swing-jump blues band fell into a time warp and came out in 2008, they might soun d like the Solid Senders. This band has the sense of humor to make that adjustment, plus they have the chops, including an out of sight horn section, a solid rhythm section, a bandleader who also plays vibes, and an extraordinary vocalist in the person ofSuzy Williams, the humorous, sensuous, song-writing local treasure that she is. Be there or be much too square." - Lynne Bronstein,SM Mirror
Joel Okida's rave in Folkworks http://www.folkworks.org/content/view/35513/106/
"Suzy Williams, whom I once called "L.A.'s Diva Deluxe" in the L.A. Weekly because of her unsurpassable position on the top shelf of red hot mamas, continues to belt standards, the blues and her originals - 24 new ones in the last ye ar alone! I'd also add that she's funny as hell and a heart-melting gorgeous dame." -Michael Simmons, Huffington Post, 5-08 and http://www.laweekly.com/2008-10-30/music/music-picks-orphics-roky-erickson-madonna/3
"Suzy is too cool. Not only does she cover music from bygone years with gusto, but she breathes new life into an aging genre with a flair few can match." - Daniel Archuleta, Santa Monica Daily Press
"What makes Suzy Williams so remarkable is her loyalty to the lyric and musical sensiblities of an age she cou ldn't be old enough to remember. She executes her ecclectic originals and incendiary interpretations of standards recalling the 1950s Central Avenue juk e joint, jump tune, dark bar blues b ites with stylish aplomb and high octane lyrical deliverance." - Poet Michael C Ford.
Here's the link to a press ready 300dpi hi-res beautiful photo of Suzy William s b y Tim Roller
The SENDERS include: Kahlil Sabbagh (bandleader and vibes), Brad Kay (piano), Dave Jones (bass), Nick Scarmack (drums), Danny Moynahan (sax), Dan Heffernan (sax), Dave Weinstein (trombone) and Corey Gemme (trumpet).
Suzy Williams has played Carnegie Hall with Stormin' Norman Zamcheck, performe d with Moses Pendleton's Pilobolus dance troupe, and has wo rked with Van Dyke Parks, Buster Poindexter, Marc Shaiman, Nicholas Ray among many others. Bette Midler, Horace Silver,Roosevelt Sykes, Ann Magnuson, Eubie Blake , Odetta and Hadda Brooks have praised her passionate singing and vibrant energy.
"Williams is an enormously amusing, endearing presence...with tough, belting authority." - John Rockwell, NY Times.
"Suzy Williams is a very talented singer with a wide range who k nows how to put on an entertaining and witty show. She can sing anything from 1920's jazz and swing to blues, rock & roll and folk music. Williams' highly expressive vocals are always worth hearing." - Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene, April '07
"Williams' energy must be seen to be believed...a natural performer." - Robert Palmer, New York Times.
The LA Weekly deems Suzy Williams "LA's Diva Deluxe"
LA City Beat declares "local joy Suzy Williams"
Please check out Suzy Williams on youtube.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =rADpTDcq98Y Suzy' s new years s ong
http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=DZ-GrEQsEKA Suzy & Her Solid Senders
and all the Stormin Norman amd Suzy videos, too
Celebrate being alive with Suzy and her swinging 8-piece band, and the release of Suzy & The JTones new ten inch record/cd (jtonerec ords.com).
Check the new featurearticle on SUZY WILLIAMS. Scroll to the Oct 26 issue, then scroll to page 12
http ://www.smdp.com/article/categories/%26quot%3 BE%26quot%3Bdition/Archives-2007/10%7B4 7%7D2007/
L.A. WEEKLY: 10-29-08 MUSIC PICKS
Suzy Williams & Her Solid Senders at the Derby
Now that every yuppie with chin spinach is called a hipster, what does “hip” mean anymore? The definition of hip is a lot like the definition of art, and Suzy Williams remains the hippest dame on any block she’s struttin’. Steeped in swing and jump blues, she’s got pipes that blow straight from her heart — and elsewhere when she’s feelin’ randy (and I bet Randy don’t mind!). The Queen of Kinetic onstage, it appears as if she’s going to spontaneously combust in infi nite directions at any moment. Her Solid Senders — tonight an octet including four horns — consist of L.A.’s finest, not of the oink-oink variety, but musicians with chops and edge. Special nods go to bandleader and vibraphonist KahlilSabbagh and Brad Kay on the 88s. Remember that the Derby has a dance floor, so if you’re in the mood to jitterbug out George and bump-bounce boogie in Barack, don’t forget your feet. (Michael Simmons)
Local Hero: Suzy Williams by Rachel Wexelbaum
Venice is known for its canals, as well as its vibrant arts community. If ever Southern California’s Venice would consider a singing gondolier to promote their city, singer/songwriter Suzy Williams just might take that job. Suzy is a prominent performer within the Venice Arts Council, and sings for several different groups including the Backboners, who specialize in music inspired by the Mamas and the Papas, and the Solid Senders, a jazz/blues/swing group focusing on musical styles from the forties and originals--rooted rather than retro.
Suzy writes music and performs with her bands or solo in venues such as Dannys in Venice, Angels in Santa Monica, the UnUrban Coffee House, the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, and The Talking Stick in Venice. She and her husband/agent Gerry Fialka also work with Venice’s well-established literary venue, Beyond Baroque, to produce annually “The ‘Lit’ Show: Songs by Literary Lions”. At this event, Suzy performs songs written by classic authors like Dorothy Parker and Tennessee Williams, and puts her own music to excerpts from classic poems and novels. From a dancing lobster in Alice in Wonderland to Lolita’s Humbert Humbert, Suzy has resurrected some of the stranger characters of literature through her music.
Suzy is a tireless worker. In one day she could have three gigs, and she will still cook, teach yoga, and come up with a new song. One of her colleagues told her not to write any more songs, and just polish the work she has already done, but how do you stop Niagara Falls from flowing? Just last week, she recorded with pianist/arranger Steve Weisberg her new song “Hello-Oh!”, which will appear on an upcoming CD. Unlike some of her more upbeat, bouncy pieces, however, “Hello-Oh!” is about a woman soberly convincing herself to dump a man she loves because she knows he does not feel the same.
Unrequited love is an age-old story in jazz and blues. Many modern performers simply imitate the strategies that veteran singers use to elicit an emotional response, or cobble some key phrases together to compose a finished piece. Not so with Suzy. As we listened to her recording of “Hello-Oh!” in her living room filled with cartoon memorabilia of an earlier, more innocent American culture, the lively, mischievous twinkle in her eye dimmed, and she went to another place. She had this argument with herself at some point, perhaps a few times, and had just the right words to capture it. This was no karaoke singer or cover band singer I sat with that afternoon. This was not someone who sold their soul to sell platinum albums and churn out formulaic chants dictated by the Man. When Suzy sings, you get Suzy.
The first person to teach Suzy how to sing her feelings was her mother. Throughout her childhood, Suzy heard Barbara sing with a “lovely, sensuous soprano” to handle the pain of divorcing her father and their struggles as they moved from Suzy’s birthplace in Oakland to Berkeley Hills, then a trailer park in Barstow, and a horse farm in Gridley. From her mother, Suzy got “an exceptional expressive tone and control over long notes with various vibratos.” When Suzy began singing during her childhood, her mother would back up her “caterwauling” on piano. At fifteen years old, Suzy discovered the music of Bessie Smith, and found that she could sing just like her. Suzy loves to use the Janis Joplin quote, “Bessie showed me the air, and taught me how to fill it!”
At eighteen years old, Suzy met “Stormin’ Norman” Zamcheck, a Yale graduate in literature and “damn good boogie woogie piano player”. Partnering with Stormin’ Norman, she cut two albums with him (Fantasy Rag, 1975 and Ocean of Love, 1978) and toured the East Coast together for twelve years. In 1976, the great jazz pianist and composer Eubie Blake paid Suzy an inspiring compliment in the form of a handwritten letter. In his own words: “I've heard a lot of women try to imitate negroid singing, but you've got it perfect. So many way before you were born tried but they over did it. You have it down pat.” With their own unique “rag’n’roll”, Stormin’ Norman and Suzy eventually played Carnegie Hall. They received lots of praise from critics; Nat Hentoff described Suzy’s voice as “vibrant and lusty…[with] great gusto and bold emotion” while Robert Palmer of The New York Times lauded Suzy’s energy as a natural performer. Suzy and Stormin’ Norman continue to do a few shows every year.
In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Suzy married Bill Burnett in 1977. After ten years of marriage, they decided to form “The Boners”. Bill, who wrote a song that is in Bette Midler’s new Las Vegas show, has a great knack for harmony arrangements. They looked for a new jump start to their music and enlisted Kahlil Sabbagh on vocals, vibes and percussion—as well as his wife Ginger Smith, who sings harmonies and plays tambourine. They all thought it would be great for the group to sing Mamas and the Papas as well as original songs. They eventually renamed themselves the Backboners. The Backboners have been performing for so long, and so well, that Michelle Phillips from the real Mamas and the Papas accompanied them at the Palmer Room last fall.
Although the Backboners have enjoyed great success, the Solid Senders is the group that gives Suzy her voice. According to Suzy, “The Solid Senders came about because a trumpet player friend of mine, Barry Anthony, said, in passing, that he didn’t have any gigs. I thought ‘That’s a shame! I should create work for him and his ilk.’ Then our friend Robin Carter wanted a horn band for her going away party. Voila! Suzy and her Solid Senders.” Suzy’s pianist and longtime “vaudeville pard”, Brad Kay, came up with the name—“senders” being the hipsters of the late forties. Dan Weinstein, Brad’s friend who plays trombone, offered to arrange music for the group, while vibes/percussion master Kahlil Sabbagh from the Backboners became the musical director. And what did Suzy do? “I began furiously writing songs for the group!” she laughed.
Suzy has reinvented cabaret with the accordion maestro Nick Ariondo since 1997. Los Angeles Magazine proclaimed “Suzy Williams and Nick Ariondo—[When] He squeezes, she torches—for one night, all’s well with the world.” Along with vibraphonist extraordinaire Sabbagh, this evocative trio perform original compositions and songs by Henry Mancini, Erik Satie, Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac, Tom Waits, Edith Piaf, and Kurt Weill. Eric Layton of Entertainment Today has described this trio as “a flammable mixture”, and Suzy’s voice as “boundless, Hell-Hath-No-Fury croonings.” Not only that, but according to Robert Ginell of the Los Angeles Times, “The cliché of the accordion being a cheesy plaything was exploded by the subtle, infinitely expressive, technically dazzling playing by Nicholas Ariondo”.
Suzy and the Solid Senders are one of at least fifteen groups in the Los Angeles area who play music from the teens through the nineteen forties. The Solid Senders attract lindy hop dancers to their performances, and instructors are also on hand for anyone in the audience who would like to learn. As far as Suzy is concerned, however, people can move their bodies to the music any way that they want. Suzy calls her audience “furry woodland creatures.”
When Suzy writes new music within the genre, it is three dimensional. The first dimension is her voice, the arrangement, and the music itself. The second dimension is the story, and the energy behind the words. The third dimension is the sense of place. Some of Suzy’s songs will take you on a trip to the past, while others will take you down today’s Venice or Sunset Boulevard. One of her best songs, “Autumn in LA”, talks about all the places you can get to in LA on the bus or on a bicycle—waterfalls, the Sweet and Hot and Watts Tower Jazz Festivals, MOCA, LACMA, the Anson Ford, and other locations that define Los Angeles. Anyone who knows Los Angeles can relate to this song, and anyone who never set foot there would easily imagine it from her highly visual lyrics.
So many people complain about the state of music today based on the bad behavior of mainstream pop stars. Scratch the surface, and their lyrics reveal misogyny, homophobia, and violent tempers with little substance to feed their anger. There are alternatives. There are local heroes out there who sing from the heart about love, the challenges and delights of everyday life, and change. Suzy Williams is one of those people.
Visit Suzy's website: laughtears.com or call 310-306-7330 for upcoming show info.
To get on Suzy's email list, send your email addy to firstname.lastname@example.org.