Born: April 15 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Music has been an integral part of Milton’s life from an early age. As a child he played various instruments including the bass, the alto saxophone, and the drums. From these experiences Milton developed a love of, and discovered an intuition for, music that has aided in his growth and development as a musician.
In 2001 Milton began learning to play the piano under the tutelage of his godfather, renowned pianist Willie Pickens. In 2003 he enrolled at Columbia College Chicago where his passion for performance and arranging began to take shape. It was here where he first began to develop his skills as a vocalist and pianist, as well as a composer/arranger. Shortly after receiving his B.A. from Columbia he chose to attend DePaul University where he received a Masters degree in Jazz Studies. It was while attending DePaul that he received a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for outstanding vocal performance.
Thus far, Milton has had the pleasure of sharing the stage or recording with such notable musicians as Roy Hargrove, Wycliffe Gordon, Sean Jones, Vincent Gardner, Winard Harper and Wynton Marsalis. It was Marsalis’s encouragement that led him to pursue singing more seriously. As a result, in 2010 he had the honor of being selected to participate in The Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead residency program. This intensive two week program allowed him to work side by side with legends such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Curtis Fuller, and Dr. Nathan Davis as well as the iconic vocalist, Carmen Lundy along with other great musicians from around the globe. He has become a mainstay at popular Chicago venues such as the Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, the now closed Velvet Lounge, and a frequent performer in the programs of the Jazz Institute of Chicago including the Chicago Jazz Festival. He also ventures outside of the city to perform at places such as Cliff Bell’s and Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit on a regular basis and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Milton’s voice is a reflection of the many great male and even female voices in Jazz, soul, and R&B from the past century and beyond. Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Joe Williams, Oscar Brown, Jr., Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, are just a few of the influences that shape his sound. It is the music, the history, and the culture of the generations that preceded him that makes up the foundation upon which his own music is built. It is with this mentality that he approaches every word and note he writes.
Milton has recorded and produced three studio albums, the second of which, Things to Come, gained him very positive reviews and appearances in the popular publications Downbeat and Jazz Times magazine. His third studio album scheduled for a July 2012 release. He currently resides in Chicago where he performs his music frequently throughout the city while also establishing his presence as a recording and performing artist throughout the nation.
Awards:2008 Downbeat Student Music Award for Big Band Outstanding Performance 2010 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead
Just Like Me
Tracks: Come Sunday; Rocks In My Bed; Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me; I'm Just A Lucky So And So; I've Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good); Just Squeeze Me; Day Dream; I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues; Solitude; Sophisticated Lady; Lush Life.
Personnel: Milton Suggs: Vocals; Willie Pickens: Piano.
Things To Come
Tracks: We'll See; My Last Goodbye; Fantasy For Two; We Shall Overcome(ft. Vincent Gardner); Lift Every Voice and Sing; Seize The Moment; Not Forgotten; 'Cuz I'm In Love With You; 'Round Midnight; JL's Blues (Every Night and Every Day)(ft. Vincent Gardner); Your Smile; And I'll Stay; Hope.
Personnel: Milton Suggs: Vocals; Sarah Marie Young: Vocals; Marquis Hill: Trumpet; Patrick Terbrack, Christopher McBride: Alto Saxophone; Vincent Gardner: Trombone; Willerm Delisfort, Adrian Ruiz: Piano; Larry Brown, Jr.: Guitar; Greg Spero: Organ; Nathan Brown, Patrick Mulcahy: Bass; Marcus Evans, Makaya McCraven: Drums.
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