Sweet Sue Terry began her professional playing career at the age of sixteen, playing for church performances and musical theater. She began playing Jazz gigs while attending the Hartt School, a well-known music conservatory in Hartford. Though she was accepted as a Classical clarinetist, her secret agenda was to study with the late Jazz legend Jackie McLean, which she did for five years. The Hartt School elected her Alumna of the Year in 2001.
Sue first heard Jazz music as a child growing up in Connecticut, where her father had an extensive record collection and she listened to WRVR FM non-stop.
As a teenager studying with legendary pianist and educator John Mehegan, Sue mentioned she would like to write a big band arrangement for her high school Jazz Ensemble. Mehegan bet her an ice cream cone that she couldn’t do it. She won.
Since then, Sweet Sue has played and recorded with a variety of notable Jazz artists including Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Charli Persip, Clifford Jordan, Melba Liston, Hilton Ruiz, Howard Johnson, Tim Price, Walter Bishop, Jr., Jaki Byard and Derwyn Holder. She has also performed with Jazz VIPs like Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Wynton Marsalis, Lew Soloff and Ray Barretto.
She’s been a Jazz soloist with the National Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the New York Pops, and has performed worldwide at venues such as The Montreux Jazz Festival, Nice Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Northsea Jazz Festival, the Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, Quasimodo in Berlin, Germany, Marian's Jazzclub in Bern, Switzerland, and Spice of Life in London, UK. In the States she has been a frequent performer at venues such as The Kennedy Center in Wash. D.C. and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York..