All About Suz’s Composing and Songwriting

Suz has been composing music professionally since 1996, and is affiliated with ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) and with Taxi A & R (Artists and repertoire).Taxi Rally panel 2010

She has composed songs for musicals, for numerous albums, and for production use worldwide for a variety of clients.  In addition, she is known for her on-the-spot songwriting, in which (since her teen years), she creates complete songs in the moment based on audience suggestions or various inspirations.

Suz & Charles Fox

Suz & Charles Fox at the 2011 Taxi Rally

A multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, mandolin, cello, charango), Suz has performed in choirs since childhood, and in a diverse array of bands since the 1970s, including tunes from the Great American Songbook, novelty songs from the early 1900s, torch songs, and songs from almost every era and style. This informed her ear for melody and harmony, and gave her extensive experience in popular music from the 1800s on. Vo de oh Do!

Ethan O, Suz Ukes

Ethan Okamura & Suz jamming at a the Westin in Los Angeles.

In essence, Suz is a multi-era genre-juggling composer who specializes in music that includes: Quirky, childrens, comedy, genre/ style/ era parodies (e.g. film noir, game show

Casey, Sylvain, Suz 2011 Taxi rally

Casey Hurowitz, Suz, & Sylvain, Taxi rally, 2011

themes, TV sitcom and news themes) smooth jazz, new age, Gospel, Broadway music, big band standards, meditation/ relaxation music, Taize style chanting, and reflective, hospice music.

She is influenced by Nelson Riddle, Danny Elfman, Marc Shaiman, Dan Fogelburg, Kenny Rankin, Windham Hill, and — of course — Monty Python, Allen Sherman, and Weird Al.

Suz’s Production Music Show Reel:


From Suz’s Secret Songwriting Diary:


Improv and On-the-Spot Songwriting

Since her earliest days of performing music, Suz has been known for her unique ability to make up cohesive, complicated and often hilarious songs in the moment, based on

Suz_Neil Uketoberfest 2018.1

Suz & Niels Nielsen, Uketoberfest

everything from audience suggestions to spur-of-the-moment encounters in airports, on trains, or even walking down city streets. (Hmmm. Why did those people all run away screaming?)

She has done full concerts of songs made up on the spot (at Westwind Tunes in the Dunes Uke Camp,

Suz, Brook Uketoberfest 2018 SMALL

Suz & Brook Adams, Uketoberfest 2018

for example), and sprinkled them in to other performances over the years at places such as Uketoberfest (Eugene, OR), Sacred Grounds Coffee House (San Francisco, CA), Women’s Retreats and keynote concerts, and with Music Improv groups at Springboard Studios and Infinite Improvabilities.

While conventional composing is fun and rewarding, Suz LOVES the immediacy and challenge of Writing Songs ON THE SPOT! Now where did that spot go? !

check out SAMPLES of Suz’s on-the-spot-songwriting:

Suz’s on the spot-songwriting with Jeanne Holmes.


Here’s a sample of a song Suz completely improvised on the spot at her June 25, 2019 Best Cellar Concert. For a video of her improvised songwriting and samples of other on the spot tunes, visit her On-the-spot Songwriting page.




From Suz’s Secret On-the-spot Songwriting Diary: