“She hails from Nebraska, but swings like a “big city girl”! That’s what critics say about Susie Thorne, a Nebraska native that’s carrying on the tradition of jazz in her family.
A Hastings, Neb. native, Thorne was first inspired by the music of her childhood through her classically trained mother (piano and voice) and the jazz played by her trumpeter/vocalist father, who played as a sideman with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, among others. Growing up in Nebraska, she served as her mother’s choral accompanist and sang with her dad's jazz ensemble. “Music was front and center in my family. Someone was always singing or playing some kind of music somewhere – we were big on singing - we’d harmonize everything." Thorne says "I've always been drawn to jazz because of the syncopated rhythms and melodic freedom it allows; although I have an eclectic taste in music and pull from a lot of styles”.
Thorne now makes Omaha her home, but has received acclaim on the national and international jazz scenes. She has two CD’s to her credit, and was nominated for both a United Kingdom Indie Award and an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award.
Susie has studied music at the University of Colorado at Denver, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she has a BA in Jazz Performance. She has studied vocal improvisation with renowned singer/educator Rhiannon (of the Bobby McFerrin Group “Voicestra”) and is co-founder of the Great Plains Vocal Jazz Camp with Blue Note recording artist, Jackie Allen. When asked about her unique vocal style, Thorne said she draws inspiration from a myriad of musical idioms from traditional jazz to Brazilian bossa novas, rhythm & blues to classic pop/rock and blending them all to create her own unique sound. “I’ve been told I have a bluesy quality to my voice and that I don’t sound like anyone else they’ve heard” Thorne says. "(Her voice is) kind of earthy," M. Florence of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln said. "It has a grassroots feel to it - you can hear some of the greats in her voice."
“You swing right from the first note – I dig that!” Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, New York