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Composer/Musical Director: Monnette Sudler Talks RetroLove

Retro Love

RetroLove

June 29th & 30th, 2016 at 7:00PM

Drake Theater | 1512 Spruce Street | Phila., PA 19102

 

Grammy nominated composer/jazz guitarist/vocalist/bandleader Monnette Sudler is known as the “First Lady of Jazz Guitar.” Ms Sudler began in the tradition of avant-garde Jazz, playing with artists like, Sunny Murray, David Murray, Khan Jamal/ Sound of Liberation and Byard Lancaster. Sudler has also played with Hugh Masekela, Grover Washington Jr., Sonia Sanchez, Odean Pope, Steve Turre and Kirk Whalum among others. Monnette is a graduate of Temple University College of Music. She is featured on dozens of CD’s including her highly acclaimed Other Side of the Gemini featuring, Grover Washington and Reggie Workman.

 

Monnette 3

Founder of the Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit, Sudler brings national and international master guitarists to Philadelphia/ Montgomery County stages “Fusing guitars one string at a time.” She is the recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award, Art and Change, awards from American Composers Forum, and the 2012 and 2013 Clef Club Guitarist of the year awards.

 

Monnette Sudler serves as music director and composer for the upcoming music/theater performance, RetroLove. This project is an evening-length performance of poetry, songs and jazz that capture relationships before the Internet. Conceived and written by poet and performer Beth Feldman Brandt and featuring actress/singer, Joilet Harris, RetroLove will be presented by Philadelphia Jazz Project on June 29-30, 2016 at Philadelphia’s Drake Theatre.

 

RetroLove

June 29th & 30th, 2016 at 7:00PM

Drake Theater | 1512 Spruce Street | Phila., PA 19102

Admission: $15.00

To Purchase Tickets: Click Here or call 267-259-3802

 

PJP recently spoke with Philadelphia-area, guitarist and composer, Monnette Sudler about her work and the upcoming project, RetroLove.

 

PJP: What is RetroLove? 

 

Monnette Sudler: RetroLove to me is about relationships with little technology, as Beth explains. Having conversations face to face, long slow walks home with your significant other, trying to talk on the wall phone in the kitchen soft and low so your family wouldn’t hear your whole conversation! All the things that remind you of another space and time loving, or not or trying to… love. Slow jams and dancing.

 

PJP: Can you briefly describe your direction as a songwriter and composer?

 

Monnette 2Monnette Sudler: My direction as a writer/composer and lyricist is to help bring to life the author's visions. To further tell the stories through melody, rhythm, style and genre.


PJP: What and whom are pivotal influences on your creative approach?

 

Monnette Sudler: I love music by classic jazz guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, and Bolo Sete. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole and the Motown sounds. My first teacher was a positive influence that taught folk music of different eras, Paul Simon, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell and Mississippi Red. Later, I was influenced by the music of John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis.

 

For RetroLove, that period reflecting the music of pop culture from the 1950s through the 1980s, is a major influence. When composing music for a writer’s lyrics, my influences change based on the rhythmic structure of the lyric, the repetitive nature of the content, or lack there of, and I spend time finding the best way to structure my melodies and transitions that best reflect what the writer heard when writing.


PJP: Tell us about the music for the show and the people working with you.

 

MonnetteMonnette Sudler: The music for the show reflects the times. Songs about loving, rejection, anxiety, reminiscing, torch songs, swinging, bopping slow jams, instrumental jazzy improvisations and the blues. The music is sexy and soulful; you’ll laugh and shed a tear, or two. Tenor saxophonist Nasir Dickerson, pianist Barry Sames, bassist Nimrod Speaks and drummer Anwar Marshall, will bring their creative excellence to enhance the music and bring RetroLove to life.

 

PJP: What advice would you give to your audiences to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment of this project?

 

Monnette Sudler: My advice is to let your self get personally involved, reimagining the relationships in your life. Smile and laugh, when you think of how things have changed. If you’re younger, just listen and consider how your relationships may have been, when things were much less complex. When you couldn’t hide behind a text by phone, display your life on Facebook, when you had to be present in the world!

 

RetroLove

June 29th & 30th, 2016 at 7:00PM

Drake Theater | 1512 Spruce Street | Phila., PA 19102

Admission: $15.00

To Purchase Tickets: Click Here or call 267-259-3802

 

 

Keep up with Monnette Sudler and her upcoming events here: Monnette Sudler
 

“RetroLove: The Book”, published by Greenleaf Poetry Press, is available at www.brandtwords.com
Design credit:  Deidra Greenleaf Allen
Photo credit: Bruce Turner

 

 

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Tags : MonnetteSudler BethFeldmanBrandt JoiletHarris RetroLove DrakeTheater Jazz R&B FirstLadyofJazzGuitar RelationshipsBeforeTheInternet SunnyMurray DavidMurray KhanJamal SoundofLiberation ByardLancaster HughMasekela GroverWashingtonJr. SoniaSanchez OdeanPope SteveTurre KirkWhalum LoveSongs Love

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