On February 15, music lovers and fans gathered at Jazz at Jack’s for the Valentine’s extravaganza Up Close and Personal event featuring Ron Ivory, Freddi Gowdy and Robert Johnson. The crowd was treated to a sweet and soulful performance from these inspiring entertainers, while learning what makes these three fine men tick and what has shaped their extensive talent.
Another Up Close and Personal opportunity is approaching for Sunday, April 12; this time with the critically acclaimed independent Soul singer Su Charles.
The Boston born Charles gave herself a stage name hybrid in 2011, and is now commonly known as SuCh. The name has a great deal of meaning to the Chicago groomed songwriter. The word “such” is used in two ways; 1) to emphasize a quality and 2) to show a similarity. “That is who I strive to be as a person,” said SuCh, “someone who amplifies and exemplifies what is good, beautiful and real. It’s of utmost importance that my music reflects those things.”
Raised in New York, the daughter of a minister cannot remember a time that she was not singing. And the award winning SuCh has come a long way since her days singing in the children’s choir.
She is still riding a wave of excitement surrounding her single Sugar Maple which peaked at number one on the UK Soul charts. In the U.S. it’s in rotation on several radio stations, including Sirius XM’s Heart and Soul.
SuCh has also had her critically acclaimed acting debut in a regional premiere of The Color Purple, which earned her a Henry Award from the Colorado Theatre Guild for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. She joined the Actor’s Equity Association and has starred in an Emmy-winning NBC Special Feature and national TV commercials.
The dynamic Charles released her first full-length album, Stretch Marks, in 2012. In this debut work, she set out to give new meaning to the title term by encouraging her listeners to view life’s heartaches, tests and trials as growth, to harness the strength gained from these battles and to wear the resulting scars with pride. The record is filled with Soul, R&B, Jazz, and Gospel influence. “Life is beautiful, not pretty,” observes SuCh. “What makes it worth living are those things that push, stretch us beyond our limits.”
She released her second album, Trial and Error, last September. It peaked at number forty-six on iTunes R&B charts and number two on the Amazon R&B charts in its first week.
SuCh’s road to music has been a scenic journey. In 2000, at the age of 15, she was asked to perform in the Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble for three consecutive years and recorded a full length album with the Ensemble each year. She had the privilege to tour LA’s best jazz clubs and venues. SuCh attended the Grammy Awards where she had the opportunity to meet and share the stage with Erykah Badu, Yolanda Adams, Patrice Rushen, Peter Cincotti, Kurt Elling, and Dave Koz, among others. She spent the next few years leading choirs, praise teams and congregations in worship in Boston, Chicago, and Denver.
SuCh made it through the end of Hollywood Week on American Idol’s 2012 season, and that winter had her first nationwide tour following her album release, taking her to fabled venues in Chicago, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Raleigh and Boston.
Conveyed in the soaring artist’s talent is her desire to connect her audience to their full experience of life through her music – in all its simplicity, complexity, joy, loss, family, friendship, hardship, and love. She has had an exciting journey, and an interesting and fulfilling ride that continues to unfold.
To purchase tickets for SuCh’s Up Close and Personal performance on April 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Jazz at Jack’s, visit www.instantseats.com.