Susan was performing as a jazz saxophonist in Boston, New York, Atlantic City, and Philadelphia before the birth of her two sons inspired her to write and record several award-winning CDs of original music for children. Her eclectic blend of jazz, pop, Latin, and Afro-beat influenced original songs have been opening ears and minds of even the savviest listeners across generations for well over a decade.
She began her musical journey as a student of classical flute in her teens and was blown away into the world of jazz in her twenties. She started playing soprano sax when she fell in love with Wayne Shorter’s sound on Native Dancer and soon picked up the tenor as well, as she went back in time, listening to classic jazz recordings from the fifties and sixties. (It wasn’t until 2009 that Susan--finally!--recorded her own jazz CD, Central Park West, featuring some of the great standards she fell in love with, listening to saxophone giants John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, and Joe Henderson.)
Additional musical influences include Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, Bobby Sanabria, Ruben Blades, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Youssou N'Dour, Zap Mama, Daara J, Fela Kuti, and countless other artists who influenced her songwriting, many in the African diaspora, who she was introduced to by PRI host Georges Collinet on Afro-Pop Worldwide).
Her music evolved from entertaining her own children to educating others on issues that concern her most: bias and bystanders. She began writing songs in response to her own children’s experiences with bullying and completed a Holocaust-Genocide Education program to better understand how bias-based bullying unchecked can escalate into hate crimes. Her first songs on bias and bystanders grew out of this program, resulting in her Teachers’ Choice Award-winning CD Stand Up! Speak Out! (2000).
Sooz' most recent CD Live Out Loud (2012) addresses the spectrum of bias-based bullying--from xenophobia to homophobia--biases that have made schools hostile environments for students perceived as “different” in some way. She believes that bullying violates a child's right to a good education, because a child focused on surviving is not free to thrive and focus on learning.
She has now reaching an adult professional audience through her newest offering: Stand Up! Speak Out! on Implicit Bias, focusing on implicit bias and microaggressions in and out of the workplace. Implicit (or unconscious) bias is something we all have, but it IS possible to de-bias ourselves if we're willing to pause... and practice: self-observation, compassion, and moral courage.