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The Suzi Stern Quintet, Elephant Room Austin

Suzi At The Elephant by Victor Engel-1

Suzi Stern Quintet

Elephant Room showcases the finest jazz in Austin!
By Ricardo Vogt for The New LoFi

It’s the night before the opening of SXSW 2016, I’m in Austin and I feel like listening to some real jazz. I’ve heard enough distorted guitars and screaming vocals on 6th street.  Tonight I want to sit back, enjoy a nice drink with my girl and check out some cats who can swing, you know what I mean?Just a few inquiries with the locals to find out the hottest jazz scene in town happens at the Elephant Room, an underground joint on Congress avenue with live jazz every night.  Exactly what I was looking for! As I walk down the steps and enter the place I immediately feel the cool vibe.

The band is playing real jazz and the tenor sax player is tearing’ it up, accompanied by a piano trio.  As we struggle to find a table near the stage, a gentleman from the audience comes up to me and kindly says: “we all share tables here!”.  As we take our seats and the band finishes the song, we join the crowd in applauding with cheers as the band leader Suzi Stern introduces the next song, a tune by jazz icon Wayne Shorter to which she wrote lyrics for.  As soon as she started singing we realised this group wasn’t just a local group jamming on standards.  This band was made up of high class musicians.

Suzi Stern is a fantastic singer and improviser who uses her voice as another melodic instrument in the band, scatting intricate melodies and displaying phenomenal control over her wide vocal range while her band keeps the energy level consistently high throughout the entire set.

The Suzi Stern Quintet is a band who definitely represents the Austin jazz scene!  They sure hit the spot for my jazz crave! Tomorrow I’ll be out searching for something different, a DJ! Who can spin in Austin?  I’ll find out and let you know! Cheers!

Ricardo Vogt

Ricardo Vogt is a 4 time Grammy-winning guitarist and producer from Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil.