Sue is a D’Addario Woodwinds Artist and as one of Scotland’s leading contemporary saxophonists she has given UK and Scottish premieres of many new works for saxophone as well as commissioning new works. She is the leader and founder of the Scottish Saxophone Ensemble, was the Assistant Director of the World Saxophone Congress 2012 and is the Director of the Scottish Saxophone Academy.
A graduate of the Royal College of Music, Sue also studied in the US and Japan and is a past winner of the British Clarinet and Saxophone Society Young Performers Competition and a Royal Overseas League Woodwind Finalist. Sue has performed on Yehudi Menuhin’s “Live Music Now!” scheme and she has regularly been an invited solo recitalist at the British and World Saxophone Congress as well as performances with Celebr8 (Scottish Ballet) and the BBC SSO. She gained a Post Graduate Degree in Jazz at Edinburgh Napier University (studying with Phil Bancroft) and on being awarded the Katherine McGillivray Fund went on to study with David Murray (World Saxophone Quartet) and Lynn Klock (University of Massachusetts). Other performances include Glasgow, Isle of Wight and Manchester Jazz Festivals, Womad, Cambridge Folk Festival and Glastonbury Festival as well as supporting Bill Frisell and Esbjörn Svensson Trio. She then led and wrote for her first international band, Dark Grooves, at the 2013 Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.
Sue has recorded for Discos Leon, Greentrax Records and Linn Records and performs with Salsa Celtica. She also regularly performs with the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra which has given the opportunity to perform alongside Sarah Brand, Maggie Nichols, Evan Parker, Gino Robair and Marilyn Crispell. Sue was selected for Serious Music's professional development programme, Air Time and as part of the duo, Syntonic (with bass player Emma Smith) hosts "“"Bitches Brew" which promotes and show-cases female instrumental improvisors.
"Mckenzie's strength is the purity of her sound"
Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman
"with the vibrant tones of Sue McKenzieʼs soprano sax adding a contrasting touch of tartness"
Sue Wilson, The Scotsman
"Outstandingly talented", "her commitment to contemporary music rings loud and clear"
"thoughtful, jazz-inflected "The Gloom on My Soul", featuring a superb soprano sax solo from Sue McKenzie"
“Star instrumentalists included Sue McKenzie, incisive soprano playing..”
"bold and vibrant sax lines provided by Susan McKenzie"
"Beautiful and evocative playing"
CASS Magazine (Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britian)
“An exceptional saxophonist..”
David Pope, Saxophone Journal Magazine.