SU TERRY: soprano saxophone, clarinet, shakuhachi soloist • composer • author • speaker 


"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). 

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, Rachel Z, Al Jarreau, Melba Liston, Chaka Khan, George Duke, Barry Harris, Phil Woods, Hilton Ruiz, Irene Reid, Dr. John, Teri Thornton, Mike Longo, Howard Johnson, Clarice Assad, Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Lew Soloff, Luiz Simas, Ray Barretto, Michael Jefry Stephens and Peggy Stern.  She’s been a jazz soloist with the National Symphony under Marin Alsop, the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, the Hartford Symphony under Gene Bozzi, the Sinfónica Cuenca under Michael Meissner and Augusto Carrión, and the Florida Pops and New York Pops Orchestras under Skitch Henderson.

 International jazz festival appearances include Montreux, Nice, Pori, Northsea, Montreal, Quito, Trave 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.

She received the Hartt School's first degree ever awarded in Jazz Performance, and in 2001 was named Alumna of the Year.

Ms. Terry's discography contains over seventy recordings as a leader and featured soloist.  Passionate about passing on her knowledge to students and colleagues, she conducts frequent masterclasses and workshops.  She has been Artist in Residence at the Jazz Society of Ecuador since 2012, and in July 2013 her group toured Ecuador for the U.S. Dept. of State. 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 the lead columnist for The Note.  

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

More information can be found in the books Reed All About It by Bob Bernotas, Madame Jazz by Leslie Gourse;  Experiencing Jazz by Michael Stephans, Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD; All Music Guide; and online at 

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

“One should almost say that this 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