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Kate Kelsey-Sugg

Photo by Leo Mascaro

Kate Kelsey-Sugg is an Australian pianist, vocalist, saxophonist and composer based in New York City. For Kelsey-Sugg music is in the genes, growing up with father, jazz saxophonist Andy Sugg. Kelsey-Sugg made a formidable emergence onto the Australian music scene at a very young age performing regularly in her father’s band. At age 25, Kelsey-Sugg has received numerous prestigious awards including: the James Morrison Vocal Scholarship, the Marion Isobel Thomas Award for excellence in piano playing, second prize at the National Australian Jazz Awards for voice at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival and most recently winning the Melbourne Music Prize and an artist residency at the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne University.

Kelsey-Sugg has achieved international recognition, being invited by the Australian Government to showcase Australian jazz at the 2010 World Expo held in Shanghai, travelling to Berlin to record the album ‘The Berlin Session’ to critical acclaim, and most recently being selected as one of 5 finalists in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held at NPAC in NJ, USA.

Kelsey-Sugg has performed alongside such artists as James Morrison, Mavis Staples, Rickie Lee Jones, Joss Stone, Archie Roach, The Black Arm Band, Paul Dempsey, Nina Ferro, George Garzone and Wilbur Wilde. Kelsey-Sugg recently recorded her debut album with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), which is expected for release in 2015.

Kate Kelsey-Sugg 2014“Making music with Kate is always a joy, she has a beautiful sound, great jazz sensibility and she swings! But more than all of this is her ability to make an audience feel she is singing just for them – I love it.” James Morrison

“A special mention needs to go to pianist Kate Kelsey-Sugg who makes this already astounding album a truly landmark one. Her comping is coolly considered when it needs to be – as on ‘Freedom 2’ where, towards the end, she sets up a tessellated repeat pattern that turns the whole performance into something else – and spiky and spitting where fireworks are called for, as on the Cecil Taylor hat-tip ‘Cecil T’. Kelsey-Sugg’s chord textures across the lovely ‘Pastoral’ seem to call from another age (past? future?) and give the piece a new beauty, a beauty we have never felt before.”

“I love this album. I unequivocally stone motherless love it. It is the best jazz album I have heard this year.” John Hardaker,, about ‘The Berlin Session’.


Background / Cover Photo : Shervin Lainez
Ideas by Pixels At Dawn
 © Kate Kelsey-Sugg : All Rights Reserved