Carol Sudhalter, flute, baritone sax and tenor sax, moved to New York from Boston in 1978 to join the first all-female Latin band, Latin Fever, which played the 1978 Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden alongside Tito Puente. [Another of Carol's 'firsts': she was first graduate of Smith College to become a jazz musician.] In 1986 she founded the Astoria Big Band, in which she plays baritone sax. In its present 13-piece formation, the band plays original arrangements by Charlie Camilleri, Stan Bielski, Mickey Tucker, Ray Loring, Keith Gurland, Chris Rinaman and Carol. The band has received more than 15 Development and Performance Grants from Queens Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. photo: John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk
Ms. Sudhalter is written up in Leslie Gourse’s “Madame Jazz” (Oxford University Press, 1995), as Chapter 12: ‘Carol Sudhalter: A Role Model’; in Peter Westbrook’s forthcoming “The Flute In Jazz: Window on World Music” (Berkeley Hills Books, 2004); and most prominently in W. Royal Stokes’ “Growing Up With Jazz: Twenty-four Musicians Talk About Their Lives and Careers”, published in January, 2005, on Oxford University Press.
From 1991 to 2005, Carol played Sunday Brunch at the Cajun Restaurant, first under the leadership of Jimmy The Face Butts; then, on his passing, under Butts’ partner Al ‘Doc’ Pittman; on Doc’s passing in January 2003, Carol stepped into the role of leader. She has performed in New York at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (Lincoln Center), Trumpet’s, Pumpkins, Birdland, Danny’s Skylite Room, Iridium, Flushing Town Hall, JVC Jazz Festival, and more. She regularly tours Italy and Switzerland. Jazz festivals include: Mary Lou Williams Festival (Kennedy Center, Wash., D.C. 2004); The Many Colors Festival, Hartford, CT; Buffalo, NY (“Pine Grill Reunion”); Redbank, NJ; Bethlehem, PA Musikfest. In Europe: Umbria Jazz, Perugia; Villa Celimontana (Rome); Badia Calavena, Assisi, JazzAscona, Locarno, Frascati (Donne in Musica series) and Swanage and Birmingham Festivals in UK. Notable artists with whom she has played include Sarah Mclawler, Etta Jones, Jimmy Mcgriff, Chico Freeman, Tony Scott, Alan Barnes, Greg Abate; and as special guest with guitarist Lino Patruno in Rome.
Carol runs her own booking agency, Mix ‘n’ Match Music, through which she plays chamber music and trio jazz for weddings and other events, and hires various groups for events as well. Mix n Match Music is written up in radio personality JOAN HAMBURG’s book, “CITY WEDDING”.
As music producer, she pioneered several jazz series in her home borough of Queens. She founded and developed the Athens Square Park Jazz Mondays series (1998-2001), presenting jazz to local residents. She conceived and pioneered the Astoria/Lic Waterfront Jazz Festival held in four waterfront parks overlooking Manhattan. In 2001 she co-produced this festival with Partnerships for Parks, with financial backing from City Parks Foundation grants. She began a series of Sunset Jazz Concerts at Ralph DeMarco Park in 1998. Special honors include a citation by La Guardia College Performing Arts Center for outstanding contributions to the Queens Jazz Community (2002); and the Reverend John Garcia Gensel Award in 2003, from Manhattan Country School, for distinguished service to jazz. She has spent 30 years teaching private flute, saxophone and piano lessons, including six years in the New York Pops “Salute to Music” Program. Ms. Sudhalter can be heard with her Quartet, Sextet and the Astoria Jazz Band on several Carolina Records releases, including the band’s most recent CD, ‘Last Train to Astoria.’ Most recent recordings are on Alfa Music label (Rome, Italy): Shades of Carol (2005) and 'Carol Sudhalter: The Octave Tunes' (2010), available at cdbaby.com or at sudhalter.com.