“To me, Sue Matsuki is an unaffected jazz stylist. She has a relaxed, engaging alto that one could listen to for hours. In person she is very persuasive with a sweet sound that recalls ‘50s band singer Chris Connor or, more recently, Carol Sloane. With brilliant Gary Pace on piano and John Leohrke on bass, she is in good hands. To her credit, she never tries to emulate the ladies to whom she pays tribute. Rather, she brings her own gentle spin to the vocalists who have defined her musically.
There are gems, which she pulls off with a keen sense of respect while bringing her own often-languid style to the music. Highlights like Peggy Lee-Dave Barbour’s "I Don’t Know Enough About You" and the Johnny Burke-Jimmy Van Heusen "But Beautiful" are conquered with a wistful nostalgia that recalls an era we’ll never see again. The rarely heard 1956 "The Late, Late Show" (Roy Alfred-Murray Berlin), a signature tune of Dakota Staton, shows a whimsical side that is always beneath the surface. Ultimately, Sue Matsuki’s sincerity shines and she sings with a commitment to her art that should have her playing the big jazz clubs in town. Pace is perfection on Gregory Toroian’s arrangements.” John Hoglund, Backstage
“Sue Matsuki’s new show "A Tribute To The Gals Who Make Me Want To Sing" (Ella, Sarah, Carmen, Peggy, Rosemary, Irene & Dakota) with Gary Pace on piano and John Leohrke on bass, with Frank Fontana serving as director, is another in a series of simple but delightful presentations by this MAC Award-winning artist. In this show Sue explains how female vocalist of the past have influence the way she sings and the way she approaches a song. But she makes no attempt to imitate their styles as she performs their songs. Instead, she makes them her own, setting each one with a personal observation, and adapting the song to her marvelous vocals. Lesson to be learned from Sue? Try to make the audience feel that the song was written with you in mind. I see too many shows where performers give the impression that they are merely singing someone else’s songs. Want to learn about what cabaret is, while at the same time being thoroughly entertained? See this show.” Stu Hamstra, CabaretHotlineOn Line