"Born and raised on the East Coast of the United States, Susan was exposed to great music from
the American Songbook as a child.
The style known as "Great American Songbook" refers to the vast genre of pre-WWII pop music, a
style influenced by the jazz and swing styles of the day.
There are a great many outstanding artists who exemplify the vocal style; a few well known
examples include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Bing
Crosby, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday and dozens of others.
Susan grew up listening and appreciating these songs and artists because this was the music that filled her household. It was her
father who first noticed that Susan not only knew many of these tunes but also could sing them. She began performing at a number of
community and family gatherings, talent shows, and school productions. To this point, her formal musical education was non-existent.
In High School, Susan auditioned for and was accepted into a rigorous classical vocal study under Freda Masse, a former Metropolitan
Opera performer who had recently relocated from NYC.It was under Ms. Masse’s serious and very formal tutelage that Susan began
to build her vocal ‘chops’ learning breathing technique, enunciation, projection, resonance, posture and ear training. Never learning to
read music, Susan memorized her next weeks lessons by listening to Ms Masse play arias once through.
Susan studied with Ms Masse for two years and was the youngest student accepted by this vocal master who taught at Colby College
in Waterville, Maine. Although classical training gave Susan a very solid foundation, her passion was more geared to popular music.
As her listening skills developed she moved away from popular vocal styles to jazz. In her words, “Jazz singers take a traditional
American pop tune or Broadway tune and overlay a syncopation, innovation and improvisation all while staying on pitch, in rhythm and
musically interacting with other band members.”
Upon graduating high school, Susan was accepted at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. But, due to family related
concerns, she declined to attend. Instead, completing a rigorous audition, Susan was accepted as a music major at the University of
Maine, Orono and further studied classical music. Susan was also very fortunate to study privately with Kitty Margolis, the great jazz
vocalist and scat master who lives in San Francisco. Finally, she studied Speech Level Singing at the Voice Studio under Heather
Said Jackie Ryan, #1 selling Jazz artist, “"It isn't often a singer's voice strikes me as Susan's did. Her tone is warm, mature and
natural; here is a voice that was meant to sing. I hope that ... others will discover this beautiful voice of Susan's and add it to their list
of favorite singers, as I have to mine." She recorded her first studio ‘short CD’ with Grammy nominee, Bus Spangler. Cuts from this
CD have had radio play in NYC, Kansas City, Australia, France, Norway, etc. etc.
Susan performs throughout the Bay Area at corporate events, private parties, clubs, etc. with her hand selected ‘side men’, piano,
bass, and drums. As bandleader, she selects the tunes, tempo and is responsible for the shows. She founded the Chick Jazz Trio in
2011, an all female jazz combo to great audience reviews! She can be seen on YouTube (susanrancourt); her music can be purchased
on: iTunes CD Baby
Reviews and Quotes:
"It isn't often a singer's
voice strikes me as
Susan's did. Her tone is
warm, mature and
natural; here is a voice
that was meant to sing.
I hope that ... others will
discover this beautiful
voice of Susan's and
add it to their list of
favorite singers, as I
have to mine."
Jackie Ryan (#1 Jazz
“I just checked you out,
wonderful!!! Wish we
were closer; I'd love to
work with you! (Kiku
Collins, trumpet and
Michael Bolton, etc.)
CD review: (produced
by Grammy nominated
producer, Bud Spangler)
“Singing in a soothing
and smooth style...
Susan Rancourt's warm
voicing and fresh new
command notice and
deserve attention. A
www.ejazznews.com - Ed
Blanco (Jazz CD
reviews; DJ on 88.9 FM
Composers include Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Rogers & Heart, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen,
Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, and many others.