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Learn about Jazz North East and what we do.

Susan Alcorn | Back
Pedal Steel Guitar

Susan's earliest work on pedal steel guitar was with Texan country & western bands. But at the same time she was attracted to a range of other more challenging music - the jazz of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, the modern classical work of Messiaen and Penderecki, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla - and increasingly absorbed these enthusiasms into her playing. Moving into the jazz world, she spent a decade with straightahead bands, until pianist Paul Bley advised her to "throw away the Real Book and play out of tune". Since then she has built a profoundly personal style, drawing on a range of influences from Gamelan music, minimalism, Indian classical, and anything "that strikes me on a visceral level". In the process she has evolved into a musician of such rare inspiration that she has virtually redefined the sound of her instrument. Susan usually works solo or in small units with familiar collaborators, but at 'On the Outside' she will be throwing herself into new combinations that will be a stimulating challenge for her and for her fellow musicians.

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