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S U    T E R R Y
Soprano Saxophone & Clarinet Soloist • Composer • Writer

"Each concert is a shamanic journey–a tightrope walk between Control and Abandon." –ST

Su Terry (aka "Sweet" Sue Terry) has been hailed as a "Superwoman of Jazz" (Hartford Courant) and a "forward voice in modern music" (Saxophone Journal).  She received the Hartt School's first degree ever awarded in Jazz Performance, and in 2001 was named Alumna of the Year. 

Ms. Terry has performed and recorded with a long list of Jazz VIPs, including Charli Persip, Clifford Jordan, Walter Bishop, Jr., Jaki Byard, Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Melba Liston, Chaka Khan, George Duke, Barry Harris, Phil Woods, Hilton Ruiz, Irene Reid, Dr. John, Teri Thornton, Mike Longo, Howard Johnson,  Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Lew Soloff, Ray Barretto and Peggy Stern.  She’s been a soloist with the National Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Florida Pops and New York Pops Orchestras.

International jazz festival appearances include Montreux, Grande Parade du Jazz, Pori, Northsea, Montreal and Ottawa. She has appeared at clubs throughout North and South America, Europe and Japan. In the States she’s performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ms. Terry's discography contains four recordings as a leader and three as co-leader.  She is a guest soloist on dozens of other recordings.  Passionate about passing on her knowledge to students and colleagues, she conducts frequent masterclasses and workshops.  She is the author of Practice Like The Pros and three other instructional books.  She is the author of two non-fiction books: Inside the Mind of a Musician, and For The Curious, and an illustrated novel, I Was a Jazz Musician for the FBI.  Ms. Terry is a frequent contributor to Allegro Magazine and regular columnist for The Note.  She has been Artist in Residence at the Jazz Society of Ecuador since 2012, and in July 2013 her group toured that country for the U.S. Dept. of State.

Ms. Terry is a longtime practitioner of the martial art of Taijiquan and holds eight USKSF championship tournament gold medals.

More information can be found at www.suterry.com; the books "Reed All About It"  by Bob Bernotas, and "Madame Jazz" by Leslie Gourse; Wikipedia, YouTube and other online media. 

Su Terry is a Yamaha Saxophone Artist.  She plays Manning Custom ligatures, Jody Jazz mouthpieces and Legere reeds.

“One should almost say that this young lady is born for her instrument.  That relaxed, exalted playing!  That rhythmic feeling!  That improvisational skill!  Simply extraordinary!”  –Die Wahrheit, Berlin, Germany

"Both as a composer and a performer, with her own unique tone, Su Terry continues to make great contributions to the world of jazz."  –Reese Urlich, Jazz Perspectives, National Public Radio

“She has a formidable musical intelligence. . .”  –Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

"Su Terry is a remarkable storyteller, in music and in words. . . she looks at the world in a creative--we could say cockeyed--wonderful way."  –Erika Funke, ArtScene, National Public Radio

“She plays like Charlie Parker reincarnated!  She smokes!” –Jazz Central Station



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Letters from Students - Thanks to you all!

"Sue I bought your book Practice Like The Pros which is just great, I just ordered Step One playing the Tenor Saxophone from Amazon . . . I have to say you're just brilliant and you come across as a real genuine soul." --James Sullivan, United Kingdom

"Sweet Sue Terry is one of the reasons I picked up the sax again after a 30-year hiatus. Her innate ability to really understand complex rhythms and melodies and turn them into solid jazz conversations continues to drive me to the woodshed."--Jim Glass, Jr., Seattle

"Thank you for all the years of teaching & guidance. You have inspired me, and made me truly fall in love with music. I will always remember everything you have done for me. I hope to see you throughout my college career!" -- Nicholas Sorrentino, Queens, NY

"I can't thank you enough for the lesson you gave me. It was a great intervallic eye opener for me, and a great learning experience." --Mike Korch, student, Berklee College of Music

"Well, with comments from my students such as "this was the best jazz clinic we've ever had" and comments from the audience members such as " this was the most fun I've had at a concert in years", I would have to conclude your visit to Eau Claire was a SMASHING success, Sue. On behalf of all my students, and a very appreciative audience, thanks so much for bringing your world-class talent, your infectious positve nature, and your intuitive educational skills to us in Wisconsin. We hope to see you again, soon!" --Bruce Hering, Jazz Dept. Director, Eau Claire Memorial HS, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

"I feel it is important to share with you that I began on the alto saxophone about 2 ½ years ago. Your 'Step One: Play Alto Sax' book and CD played an important role in my success and dedication as a beginner on the instrument. I recently purchased your “Practice Like the Pros” book and CD, and I look forward to utilizing the ideas presented. Thank you for these solid products, and the insight and inspiration from your success."--Daniel

"Dear Sue, Greetings from everyone at Yamaha! This plaque is sent as a small token of our appreciation for your efforts. We hope you will take a moment and hang this with pride, to let everyone know that we are proud to have you on our team. As the plaque says, you truly do exemplify the highest standards in musicianship and continued commitment to music education. We at Yamaha recognize these qualities and are honored to make the instrument of your choice." --John Wittmann, Artist Relations Manager, Yamaha Corp. of America

"Thank you for the article. I will endeavor to make a habit of dedicating at least five minutes to long tones every practice session, and train my ears to listen, decipher, and learn the different levels of tone. Being new to this 'hobby' (I am on my 3rd week) at my age (45), I am sure I need that exercise to develop a correct and strong embouchure." --Jun M.

"I read your article on the web, "The Secret of a Good Sound". I enjoyed it very much. It is little tips like this us novice/closet players need so much. Thank you for the article, thank you for taking the time to write it for us." --Bill Rafferty

"I enjoyed the simplicity and directness of your column. Please keep it up." --Barron S.

"Bought your book, and think it's great. Full of good ideas for old folk like me (39) who have decided they want to take the sax back up, after a long break." --Douglas Thomson, Glasgow, Scotland

"Thanks for your words of encouragement on Sax on the Web forum. I began alto sax lessons 2 years ago. As a middle-aged woman, I am most interested in developing my own clear, crisp, distinctive sound. I struggle with breath control and sustaining notes for vibrato, etc. Looks like practicing daily long notes may help. What an impressive resume you have built. Congratulations on an outstanding career." --Midnyte

"My husband has been taking sax lessons for about a year now. He is 50 years old and this is something he has always wanted to do but kept putting off because of the home and work demands. He enjoys playing the sax and is always thirsty to learn more. Now the problem: His friends keep telling him that 50 is too old to start learning to play the sax and that he should give it up. He has great respect for your work so I thought I would ask for your opinion. Do you think 50 is too old to start playing the sax? I am anxiously awaiting your reply. Thank you." --Tracy

(What do you think I told this woman? YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD! I even suggested that he give up his friends instead of his saxophone!--ST)

"I'm an 'extreme' beginner and I'm trying to read and learn, as much as I can, from individuals like yourself to help me play better. I'm two weeks into playing my sax and terminologies like altissimo, 'edge' sound, shadow tone, etc., are very new to me. I'm not even sure whether to use a 1 1/2 or 2 reed to start and why increase the reed when you get better. I'm not even sure how to practice, which comes to my next question. Would your book "Practice Like The Pros" help a beginner like me? Any additional information you can suggest to help improve my playing would be appreciated. Have a great day Sue." --D. Dineros

"Thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to reply to my e-mail. . . If it were not for people like yourself who are kind enough to give away secrets that you have learned over many years of practice, my road would be even more difficult. Thank you." --DeWayne Pitts, Seattle, WA

"Dear Sweet Sue, I feel honored that you took the time to answer my e-mail. I cannot thank you enough for the valuable advice you gave me. I will try to use all of it that I can. I am taking your letter with me when I go back to the ship as well as the small electronic keyboard, which is a phenomenal idea. I have a long way to go but you have shortened the journey tremendously. Thank you so much!!!" --Robert Milici

"Many thanks to you for the information regarding embouchure fatigue, and I especially thank you for enclosing the attachment. Very informative, and much more than appreciated." --Rob E.

"Thank you so much for Inspiration, both from listening to your music and meeting you. It was incredibly uplifting, and something that I will always remember and look back to where any art is concerned, but as for music, it made me appreciate the saxophone more than I ever could have thought. Just thinking back on it, there seems too much to say, except it tends to be as atmospheric as music is and too ethereal to catch in words so--Thank You, and thank you also for the CDs and the notes you wrote on them--it meant, and still means, a lot to me."--Liz Koemets, Brooklyn NY

"Thank you so much for all the help you gave to us today at Patuxent High School. I really enjoyed the class and didn't really have enough time to stay and talk to you. If you don't remember me, I play trumpet. I did get the opportunity to talk to you for just a minute after the class. I really did enjoy it and learned a lot from it. You are also an AWESOME sax player." --Larry Hogan


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