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“Ms. Grzanna is a highly respected songwriter and traditional Jazz performer who combines the flair of a vanished era and the explosive tempo of contemporary entertainment.” “A talent who bends the glory and nostalgia of the past with contemporary and fresh breeze of today’s genre...in other words, an artist who brings to the table, solid traditional musical heritage and innovative modern style. Suzanne Grzanna fits the bill. She is so accomplished at so many levels; she is a composer, a singer, a saxophonist, a writer, a producer, and a pioneer.”

““Noteworthy Women...just plain ambitious and talented.” ... Suzanne Grzanna displays both melodic saxophone playing and a knack for making standards her own on “Fly me to the Moon” CD. Suzanne Grzanna debunks myths about female jazz musicians.””

"Ms. Grzanna bridges between the glorious days of Broadway, Hollywood, New Orleans, and the steamy fever of contemporary music. She is powerful, yet emanates warmth and depth. She is overwhelmingly creative, yet loyal to the majesty and traditional values of the great music of the golden era. This woman is a national treasure."

“Grzanna is a talented and attractive performer who has focused her talents in the jazz world. Grzanna has a very distinct sound, a very beautiful voice. She puts a lot of energy into her sax playing and puts on a very interesting set.””

““Suzanne Grzanna is a quadruple threat! This amazing woman has a killer jazz voice, can set the room on fire with her smokin’ sax, writes her own music, produced the album, and is drop dead gorgeous.” “She effortlessly cruises through the most difficult passages.” “Suzanne Grzanna can do it all, and she does it all exceptionally well on othis superbly-­‐crafted holiday CD.””

"The Magnificent Diva!"

““She can soothe, soar or wail. Grzanna’s a talent who knows where she’s going and how to get there.””

"One of the hottest divas in the business."

““She picks up the sax to belt out more up-­‐tempo jazz jaunts reminiscent of harder bop.””

““They say that her “torchy vocals at times leaves one with the impression that you’re wataching a radiant young lounge diva..””

“Grzanna’s live performances have had the critics reaching for superlatives.””

““A double threat with sax and vocals to her credit, Suzanne’s disc harks back to the velvet lounge of yesteryear...””

““Her smokey voice and skillful sax set her apart from many other jazz performers, both those of her own age and those beyond. The multi-­‐talented, extremely stylish artist plays at the Baked Potato.””

- Pasadena Weekly

““While fans of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald will be attracted to her voice, musicians will be impressed by her rather-­‐developed saxophone skills.” Her smokey voice stands out in “Stormy Weather” and “Snow City.””

““Her combination of fiery sax licks and smooth vocals is truly original. Once she steps on stage, you know who’s in control.” “If you are in the mood for some skillful sax work and smoking jazz tunes, check Suzanne and her band out some hot summer night.””

““The Grzanna Quartet soars on the crowd’s energy and produces inventive solos that make the diners put down their forks to applaud. Grzanna’s performance is dazzling. She solo’s on sax and vocals, sometime brushing the ozone layer and other times delivering a slinky classic like Stormy Weather...””

"It swings comfortably with clever lyrics and the sax solos showcase Grzanna’s soulful sound and strong tone,”

““Suzanne Grzanna’s about as close as you can get in this biz to a sure bet,””

““A dazzling performer to behold, she’s always a crowd pleaser,””

““She’s a stunning saxophonist, with a flair for gorgeous, powerful solos and energy to drive her band into sweaty bop workouts,””

““I had such an enjoyable evening...largely on Suzanne’s melodic style...I was captivated by the event.””

Suzanne Grzanna: “DAYbreak” – a potpourri that is sure to please most jazz aficionados

She’s chic, gorgeous and immensely talented. Suzanne Grzanna’s latest offering, “DAYbreak”, is a musical potpourri that is sure to please most jazz aficionados. A superb sax player, an already highly nuanced vocalist and a promising composer, Suzanne is a triple threat who may very well be one of the key figures in defining the direction jazz will be heading in the 21st century.

She’s won multiple awards and performed at prestigious halls such as the Blue Note, Birdland, Preservation Hall, Cinegrill, and the Hollywood Bowl. Suzanne has had sit-­‐ins with players such as Frank Morgan, Dave Hazeltine, Bryan Lynch, Betty Carter, Ray Brown Jr., Charles McPherson, John Hurd, and Jeff Goldblum to name a few.

suzanne-grzanna-300There’s a ton of variety on “DAYbreak”, everything from the stunning opening arrangement of Little Willie John’s “Fever” to the sassy smart instrumental of “Daybreak”, the unsentimental poppy sweetness of “It Had To Be You”, not to mention the balls out straight ahead hipness of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and the tour de force swing, “Almost Like Being In Love”.

Her singing vibrato timbre on this tune simply has to heard to be believed. Is there nothing that this woman can’t do? Apparently not. And the fact that she sings and plays, equally as effortlessly, puts her in a class by herself.

Spread the word, there’s a new lady in town: Suzanne Grzanna’s, and she’s bringing her ‘A’ game to the area of music called Jazz and Swing. And what a refreshing brew it is. What I love about this CD is the variety on offer.

The bonus that Suzanne has is that along with her skills as a saxophonist, she has a great voice that I would imagine, along with her looks, would make her a marketing dream. But she still has to deliver the goods, and she does. This is a solid set that should make this lady a star, if there’s any justice in the music world.

Though already an acclaimed performer, Suzanne Grzanna, no doubt, has a tremendous future as a group leader on stage and in the studio. She has a lithe, airy and lovely golden-toned voice; has prodigious, fleet-fingered and sinuous saxophone technique; and produces or interprets artful musical compositions. And she often does this in a spellbinding manner.

If you’re a jazz head (or not) and you’re looking for the next wave of classic recordings and talent in that idiom, get “DAYbreak” and rejoice. Suzanne Grzanna’s voice is awesome, her playing is solid, and the songs are intriguingly arranged.

While her accompanying band made up of Ray Tabs (Keyboards), Hal Miller (Bass), Andy LoDuca (Drums), and Scott Currier (Keyboards – ‘Daybreak’), are more than capable of taking your breath away. The album seems to be packed with talent, but that combination of voice and saxophone is something else altogether!

Ms. Grzanna really shines in this album of jazz standards and instrumentals. Her voice is clear but atmospherically it’s all smoke and velvet. Her saxaphone playing is great – smooth and jazzy. I love her voice, but for me the real stars on this album are the instrumentals, Daybreak and Black Orpheus. That said, I would really love to see her perform live. How fun would it be to see a singer sing like this and then pull out a saxophone!

There are so many top-notch features in this record! First, the vocals are outstanding; ‘Boogie Nights’, ‘Living your dream’ are superb among the others! The feel is great on ‘Cantaloupe Island’ with some amazing sax and piano playing, while the accents are so riveting on ‘Spring Waltz’. My highlight is the brilliant arrangement and the bass walking on the adlib uptempo part of the title track ‘SIMPLY SUNDAY’.

Suzanne Grzanna is a truly amazing force of musical nature - A composer, singer, saxophonist, writer and producer who does all of these diverse activities with great skill and grace ! I just love the warmth and depth of this recording - the richness of the bass and drums, the wonderful tone of the sax and of course Suzanne's gorgeous evocative voice. I can't say I've ever heard a saxophonist who sings anywhere near as well as Suzanne ! It is truly amazing and so very rare. Go see her live if you get the chance and if not, this recording will do an admirable job of conveying the Suzanne Grzanna experience.

What does one call an album that combines two superlative talents of a single person? Magic! "Simply Sunday"- as the name suggests is for that laid-back day when one just lets go and lets the music take you! The command that Grzanna has over the saxophone is phenomenal. I loved the heavy tones of the opening piano notes in "Spring Waltz", added a very dignified touch, much like the graceful dance form. "My Valentine" has Grzanna enchanting with her vocal prowess....ah the voice! :-) "Boogie Nights" is naughty,but nice! Fantastic vocals and saxophone improvisations. "Love You" is a beautiful romantic song with its unhurried pace and alluring melody. Loved this song :-) "Summer Dreams" has a Latin touch to it, Grzanna's scatting vocals are just superb. "Follow Your Heart" with its dreamy saxophone is a glorious composition, the delicate touches and flourishes of the saxophone again show just how gifted a performer Grzanna is :-) This album transported me to a different plane of existence with the stunning twin talents of Grzanna. Her music is superior and supremely satisfying.

Suzanne Grzanna – ‘Daybreak’

Downright decadent with its luxurious arrangements, Suzanne Grzanna’s “Daybreak” is a true delight. With a late-night vibe to it, the way that the sultry vocals sing out is simply stunning. Everything works from the careful saxophone work to the nimble groove that adorn the pieces. The balance that the band strikes is wonderful as they opt for a cool lounge style, one that they seem to understand wholly and fully. A light touch is employed throughout the album resulting in some rather fine flourishes. Serving as the heart and soul of the album are Suzanne Grzanna’s vocals which adorn many, though not all, of the pieces.

“Fever” begins the album off on a seductive note. Minimal in nature everything shimmers brightly from the soft keyboards to the tactile bass work. The spry “Daybreak” is imbued with a strong sense of hope as the piano’s passion is undeniable, as it the tender saxophone work. On “It Had To Be You” offers up a flirtatious spirit as the song has a slight swinging rhythm to it. A funky soulful vibe informs the leisurely pace of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”. Jaunty in spirit is the album highlight, the hot heat of “Almost Like Being In Love”. Rather spirited, the performance is perfect with the band truly engaging in a fantastic form of gropu interplay. With “Black Orpheus” Suzanne Grzanna ends the album off on a graceful note.

With a timeless classic sound, Suzanne Grzanna’s “Daybreak” is a flawless perfectly executed album, one that truly touches the heart.

http://www.saxdiva.com/

By – beachsloth.com

Suzanne Grzanna
Daybreak

Suzanne, Daybreak, Jazz, Music Review, EP Review, Independent Music Blog

Suzanne Grzanna brings audiences a wonderfully classic bit of jazz, accompanied by a soft and skillful vocal performance, which throughout the album delivers these warm and familiar songs with great style.

The artist was awarded Best Jazz Music at the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Awards, and her unique take on jazz has lead to the release of a collection that is smooth, captivating, and always easy to listen to.

Suzanne’s voice has a touch of character to it that adds so much to the performance and to the songs. Her personality comes through in the recordings, and the musicality of the tracks has been kept to a very classic, nostalgic level – simplistic yet effective. The music has taken a fairly vintage approach and fused it with something fresh and greatly appealing.

What makes it all work so well is that you can hear the authenticity, you can hear the passion and the love of music and singing that the artist has, and this adds greatly to the value of the collection and makes it so much more enjoyable to listen to. To witness a genuine love for the style of singing and these kind of songs is a rarity, and it’s a pleasure to stumble upon and spend an evening experiencing. There is nothing fake about it, nothing has been added that isn’t needed, nothing has been overdone or forced. It’s a very natural and organic sounding collection of songs, and each one leads into the next with ease and grace.

There’s a lot to like about it all and it’s worth listening in full to get the complete effect and to really get to know the vocal style and overall sound of Suzanne Grzanna as she continues on this pathway through classic music. Hopefully there’s much more to come from the artist, and the prospect of further music is exciting.

Dazzling Sax Diva Suzanne Grzanna: An Award-Winning Maven of Music

 
 
 
13 MINS READ

Authored by: Cindy Mich

A brilliant saxophonist, sultry jazz singer and Grammy Award voting member, Suzanne Grzanna is a world-class artist who has traveled the world. The recent release of her CD, Daybreak, and her single, Spring Waltz, are just the latest accomplishments in a career full of high points. I was lucky enough to grab a few moments with Suzanne to discuss some of memorable moments and how she rose to become such a shining star!

In doing my research, I discovered that your parents are both professional musicians. Did you feel as if your life path was in some ways already planned or pre-destined due to this fact?

My parents love music and always encouraged me to practice my instruments. My career was not planned, but my parents were always hopeful that I would follow in their footsteps. I fell in love with performing music and that is how my passion has grown. I had the knowledge and training from my parents, but I made my own decision to pursue music as my career.

Currently, you are both a jazz singer and saxophone player. However, you also have experience with the clarinet and the piano. How well versed are you at playing these instrumental pieces? Further, will there be time in the future to strengthen your skills on these two musical tools?

I practice the piano all the time. In fact, I recorded a Sonatina my father composed on the piano. I will be releasing it next year. As far as the clarinet, it is very similar to the saxophone so it is easy for me to pick it up when I want to play it. As there is only so much time in the day, I keep my saxophone and voice as the top priority.

It must have been intensely exciting to hear your own compositions used within independent films. Tell your readers how you had been offered this opportunity, and moreover, share your personal feelings about the significance music has within a theatrical production.

Yes, it is so exciting to hear music I composed in films. It brings a deeper insight into the film and music. I have been working many years to submit my music to different films. It is a wonderful feeling to finally get my compositions placed in them. In the last few years, my music has been in the film A Different Direction (Colleen Ann Brah – Director), Wild Honey (Francis Stokes – Director), and this year I composed a song on the new film Seaper Powers (Released Dec 2019).

Staying along the same lines with the big screen, I see that you have done work as an actress. Talk about what motivated you to try movies after music, and what do you feel has been the role that really mirrors the real Suzanne?

I have always loved acting. Performing music and playing different characters are very similar. In music, you use sound, lyrics, and instrumentation to create emotions. In acting, you use your voice and emotions to become the character. I will be in the upcoming film Western Conviction (Colleen Ann Brah – Director). It is in pre-production right now. I can’t wait!

You are the head honcho over at Diva Records, and have been the big boss there for twenty-six years. Explain why you felt the need to start your own label, and what is your largest accomplishment to date regarding this treasure?

Twenty-six years ago was the beginning of the Indie Labels. Not many artists had CD’s at this time. It was very expensive to record and release an album, but it was my dream to continue my passion for music and have control over my music. I have a Music Degree and a Business Administration Degree, so it seemed like the perfect fit to start my own business. I think my biggest accomplishment is creating music and growing my business for all of these years.

Rumor has it that during your down time, you can be found kickboxing. Forgive me for saying it, but you seem so very soft and strongly feminine. One may not imagine you doing such a physical sport. How did you end up indulging in such an interesting hobby?

Early in my career, I got my black belt in Tae Kwando. I do not practice it anymore, but kickboxing is a way I relate to Martial Arts. I have a lot of fun working out and it helps me focus and feel good. I would recommend kickboxing to anyone.

You are the only interviewee in this issue who has been fortunate enough to end up on the Grammy Awards ballot. My question to you on this is: for you, is the achievement already accomplished by the mere nomination, or is the win what would be more noteworthy for you?

Well, it is always nice to win, but the journey makes who you are. : )

To date, you have released six CD’s with Daybreak being the most recent. Which of these stands out the most in your mind, and for what reason? Can you elaborate a bit on how each one differs from the next?

It is hard for me to pick just one of my albums, since they are all different parts of my life. My original song Simply Sunday has won the most awards to date, so I will go with that album.

I started my recording career with The Cat’s Meow album which is one of my favorite songs. I recorded half of the album in New York and half in Milwaukee. I worked with such amazing musicians such as Dave Hazeltine, Gerald Cannon, Randy Baugher, to name a few. Because of the success of the album, Christopher Landowski, filmed The Cat’s Meow video which aired on television. I had a lot of original songs of my father’s and mine written for this CD. It was so nice hearing my compositions coming to life with this album. I did a lot of touring during this time.

I recorded Fly Me To The Moon CD because I wanted to have some standards that people knew in addition to my original music.

My Simply Sunday album was inspired by a trip I took to Maui. I just love Hawaii!! I have been known to watch golf, so in between some of the shots, I came up with a few songs. Most of this album is original music of mine or my father.

My Santa Baby and Christmas Night were albums I recorded for Christmas. I composed both of the title songs. I love Christmas and wanted to put my spirit into the season.

The Spring Waltz single was recorded Live at a Pre-Grammy Event. Alex Otey played piano and my father composed the song. I was very happy with my performance of the song and wanted to share it with everyone.

My other single Wedding Day is very popular for weddings. I composed the song and it is my view on marriage.

Daybreak was inspired by my father’s original composition. He is such an amazing composer. I wanted to feature his wonderful song Daybreak and get it out to the public. My parents have worked so hard to take care of their family and did not have the opportunities I was given. I like to give back to them and feature my father’s music. The rest of the songs are favorite jazz standards that many love.

When we look at your backstory as far as schooling, you attended both Wisconsin Lutheran Collage and Carroll University. I see you have earned a Bachelors Degree in Music, so my one question is: has most of what you learned in college been of large benefit to your musical occupation, or was there as equal of an education attained by actual performance and pure creation?

I would say college and life experiences both helped me. I learned a lot in school and had time to practice my instruments. Having a Music Degree and Business Administration Degree gave me an advantage for running my own business. There are so many aspects to being a musician in today’s world. But, at the same time, one learns from life experiences. In fact, I am still learning all of the new platforms that have transpired over the years. (YouTube, Spotify etc.)

You and I are both from the same hometown – Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Numerous local print publications, along with venues, have told your tale and hosted you. You then went on to accumulate attention from Billboard Magazine and American Pride Magazine, as well as performing at The Hollywood Bowl, Roxy Theater and many more avenues. Is it true what they say in that your home holds your heart most? Have you built a place for yourself professionally and personally in multiple states? Also, is it even a struggle any more to schedule gigs, as it would seem you are well wanted!!

You are very kind to say that. : ) Of course, I am proud to say that Milwaukee is my home. It is such an amazing city. A best kept secret to the world. There are so many amazing musicians in Milwaukee, and I am proud to be a part of our music scene. Los Angeles is my other home. I just love being there. New York would be my next choice.

Japan, Paris and Russia are three countries that have taken to playing your tunes. Is your following internationally as strong as in the states? Is there translating involved?

My following is growing internationally. In fact, I have a few new projects in the works for those countries. I have not needed translating yet…


If anyone reading this interview would like to attend one of your events in the near future, where would they find you?

They should join my mailing list and name their city to find out when I will be in their area for a concert.

Live your life and love it! : )

For further information on Suzanne, visit her website: http://saxdiva.com/