JUST ONE ANGEL
SUE MATSUKI #9 "Christmas Angel"
Sue Matsuki "Christmas Angel"
Raised in Waterbury, CT, Sue is a 1976 Miss Waterbury and a graduate of the University of Hartford. Sue is an 8 time MAC Award Nominee/3 time Winner (in 6 different categories) as follows: 2002 MAC Award Winner for Female Jazz/ Pop/R&B Vocalist; 2002 MAC Award Nominee for Best Female Recording for her first Jazz CD, A New Take; 2004 MAC Award Nominee for Duo/Group with her partner for that show, Marcus Simeone; 2006 MAC Award Winner for Special Productions for her sold out 7 week run of 10 Years in the Making with her Musical Director Gregory Toroian (a new show every week for 7 weeks); 2007 MAC Award Nominee for Female Vocalist; 2008 MAC Award Nominee for Duo/Group with her partner for that show Edd Clark; the 2008 MAC Award Winner for Specialty Song (“One Stop Shopping” by Page/Matsuki/Toroian) and a 2010 MAC Award Nominee for Female Vocalist. Her most cherished "award" comes by being selected by Julie Wilson herself as the very first 2005 Julie Wilson Award Recipient, given by the Mabel Mercer Foundation. She was most recently awarded the 2009 Jeff Matson Award from Stu Hamstra's CabaretHotOnline which is an award given to a "Jack of all Trades" and to a person who is noted for serving the Cabaret Community.
This 24-year veteran Cabaret/Jazz singer and comedian has played legendary jazz clubs: The Village Gate, Birdland, The Iridium, Sweet Rhythm; and Cabarets: Feinstein's at the Regency, The Metropolitan Room, The Laurie Beechman, Town Hall, Arci’s Place, Don’t Tell Mama, 88’s, Judy’s, Danny’s, Jan Wallman’s, The Duplex, The Triad, Caroline’s Comedy Club, Helen’s Hideaway Room and Broadway Baby in New York; The Cosmopolitan Room and Odette’s in New Hope, PA; The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska; The Gardenia Room in Los Angeles; The Standing Room Only Cabaret in Hartford, CT; The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, Voices for Charity, Trumpets & Le Dome at The Manor in NJ; The Rockland Cultural Arts Center & Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway Series in Nyack & Town Hall in Terrytown, NY; the CabaretFest in Provincetown, MA; Boothsbay Harbor Opera House in Maine and The Four Seasons in Las Vegas, NV. She was named a “Best of Connecticut” by The Connecticut Magazine and, as such, did a benefit for the March of Dimes sponsored by the magazine in the Foxwood’s Casino room.
Her jazz CD, A New Take, has been receiving air play across the country and internationally and was voted one of the Top 10 Best CDs by Stu Hamstra of www.CabaretHotlineOnLine.com. Her Christmas CD, Sue & Edd’s FABULOUS Christmas, with Edd Clark was released in November 2007. Both may be purchased through: www.cdbaby.com or www.amazon.com
or downloaded on iTunes.
Sue was also a Super and “Diva Double” at the Metropolitan Opera where she was featured in Moses und Aaron (Voice of God); Tristan und Isolde (Braganea double); Norma (Druid Princess); and Il Travatore (Court Lady & Leonora double). She was also invited to sing with the Met chorus in a special presentation of After the Ball by Noel Coward starring the late, great Irene Worth.
Paul Stephan (Musical Director and arranger) is a graduate of Ithaca College and the University of Utah, where he received a Masters of Fine Arts in writing and directing musical theatre. He has studied composition with John Eaton and Karel Husa. He has composed scores for several musicals, including "A Fairy Tale", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Trudy", which premiered at Theatre 138 in Salt Lake City. Paul is an alumni of the BMI Lehman Engle Musical Theatre workshop, and had his works performed in their evenings of "Works in Progress." His song "Elusive" was a 2005 MAC Award Nominee, and his song Anymore can be currently be heard on the Bettina Covo's debut CD “Out of the Shadows". Paul is musical director/arranger for the Bistro Award winning show “3 Tenors in Search of an Act” which was also nominated for the MAC and NY Nightlife Awards. This past year, Paul musically directed and arranged Richard Skipper’s “Carol Channing in Concert”. Most recently his original music has been heard at the John Zindarsic’s “Songbook” series at the Donnell library.
I have seven brothers and no sisters and for most of my life, at least five brothers were home at the holidays every year so the living room on Christmas morning always looked like the boy's section in the toy store with just this little section of "girly" colors in the corner. One of those years, when I came downstairs, what I saw in the girlie colored corner of our living room was my very own brass vanity and on the vanity seat was Dancerina. What a day!
What I remember more so on that day though, and I can remember it to this day as if it were yesterday, was a memory that I had just two seconds after I did the "football" dance (did I mention I have seven brothers?) over my Christmas swag! As I held my shiny, new, pink Dancerina doll, I flashed back to a previous Christmas when it was just my mom, my brother and me living in the projects. We were poor but on that Christmas morning I rushed down to find a beautiful brown haired, two foot tall doll dressed to the nines in what looked like a Spanish influenced gown of black lace, complete with a Spanish headdress. She was stunning.
Years later I discovered that that dress and the panties and even the bra were all made by my mom from her black slip and that the doll came from my brother Peter who found her at a tag sale. So here I was with the lovely, brand new Dancerina smiling at myself because the most beautiful doll I have ever owned was still sitting up on my bed with not a hair out of place. It is some 45 years later and I STILL have this doll . . . she was my best Christmas gift ever.