Susannah B, acclaimed singer, songwriter, screenwriter and mom has been turning to her music and other hobbies like exercising and reading to help navigate this long year – and perhaps beyond – of the pandemic.
This year, Susannah’s critically acclaimed jazz album Girl Gone Wilder! was named one of the Top Jazz Recordings of 2020 by jazz historian Scott Yanow in Los Angeles Jazz Scene.
The album is a tribute to the prolific and beloved composer, Alec Wilder, whose career spanned four decades, starting in the 1940’s. Susannah explains, “Alec Wilder is deeply admired by many jazz musicians, but now largely unknown to the public. As we performed the music for friends and others, we realized how deep Wilder’s songbook is and decided to make a record to showcase his talent to today’s music fans.”
Susannah has taken many of Wilder’s acclaimed jazz standards and re-recorded them with a fresh, groove-driven feel and updated tone.
Girl Gone Wilder! was arranged by and co-produced with Susannah’s long-time collaborator, John Ballinger (Dancing with the Stars, Rufus Wainwright). Her band also features Michael Farrell on keyboards (Alanis Morissette, Macy Gray, Vanessa Carlton, American Idol); Sal Lozano on saxophone/flute/clarinet (Paul McCartney, John Legend, Lady Gaga); David Sutton on bass (Lucinda Williams); Scott Breadman on percussion and Ray McNamara on drums and hang drum.
As this challenging year winds down, Girl Gone Wilder! will carry you back to an earlier, less complicated and more carefree time. While the era may have passed, the music is timeless and evocative. Girl Gone Wilder! is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music to lift your spirits during this holiday season!
In addition to working on her music, Susannah has not let the quarantine keep her down. She has filled her time enjoying her passions and favorite hobbies, and trying new ones…
A Los Angeles resident, Susannah is passionate about tennis and plays competitively, and also loves swimming and walking. Going for outdoor walks and longer hikes is her favorite way to socialize in a safe and healthy way during the pandemic, while getting those much-needed exercise endorphins. Susannah loves to get her family outside together as much as possible. “My teenage son and daughter aren’t always willing, but I do my best to gather us all together outside in the early evenings — it’s good to breathe in some fresh air and talk a bit about our day as the sun sets,” says Susannah. The lavender sky at dusk is one of the things she loves most about L.A.
Susannah reads about 2-3 books a month, mostly fiction from Oprah’s or Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club lists. It helps her wind down and relax before going to bed. While she does miss real books with pages and cover, Susannah admits that she’s a Kindle convert! This year, Susannah has been consciously exploring more LGBTQ authors, writers of color and works that explore different cultures. The simple act of reading a book can broaden perspective and has had a profound impact on Susannah’s ability to have empathy for different points of view — something that is crucial for all of us to work on at this time in our history. Some of Susannah’s recent favorites include Untamed by Glennon Doyle and How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones.
Singing For Wellness
Before the pandemic, Susannah was performing live regularly at house parties and jazz clubs. But these days, her favorite places to sing are the somewhat-clichéd shower and car. Susannah thinks of singing as something needed for her health, like exercise. Scientists have studied the ways in which singing lowers stress, improves sleep, boosts immunity, calms and energizes and releases pain-relieving endorphins which help you feel less pain. This is also a great time to learn some guitar chords or how to play the ukulele, something Susannah always wanted to do! Music heals and uplifts – however you do it. Music has magical powers!
Susannah’s current projects during the pandemic are a release of techno-pop remixes of her album Far More, as well as a pilot for a TV series. She has also been busy transforming the garage of her new home into a performance space for when she can once again share her music live.