Sue McKenzie is a graduate of the Royal College of Music (studying with Kyle Horch), a past winner of the British Clarinet and Saxophone Society Young Performers Competition and a Royal Overseas League Woodwind Finalist. As one of Scotland's leading contemporary saxophonists she has given UK and Scottish premieres of many new works for saxophone (Gavin Bryars, Graham Fitkin, Joe Duddell, Karen Tanaka, Amy Quate and Gabriel Jackson).
Sue also studied with Richard Ingham and Dr Eugene Rousseau at the Hamamatsu International Wind Festival (Japan). Sue has performed on Yehudi Menuhinʼs “Live Music Now!” scheme and she has regularly been an invited solo recitalist at the British and World Saxophone Congress.
She went on to do a Postgraduate Degree in Jazz at Edinburgh Napier University studying with Phil Bancroft and went on to perform at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Isle of Wight Jazz Festival, Islay Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival and the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival. Along with Haftor Medboe Group she recorded an album for Linn Records and supported Bill Frisell and Esbjörn Svensson Trio.
Sue has performed and recorded with US based Unknown Prophets, James Ross (Greentrax Records), Rumba Caliente and Salsa Celtica. Performances have included Celtic Connections, Womad Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury Festival, BBC Alba, BBC Radio 2, BBC Scotland and gigs in Iceland, Greece, France, Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Germany. Other performances include the St Albans International Organ Festival, soloing with the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain, performing with the BBC SSO, Celebr8 with Scottish Ballet and the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra.
Sue is also the leader of the Scottish Saxophone Ensemble who recently released their debut album “Mrs Malcolm” with Largo Music. In 2009 she was awarded a grant by the Katherine McGillivrayʼs Get a Life Fund which enabled her to study in the US with Lynn Klock at the University of Massachusetts as well as lessons in improvisation and composition with David Murray (World Saxophone Quartet, Paris) and David Binney (New York). Sue was the Assistant Director of the 16th World Saxophone Congress,2012. She is also in demand as an educator, teaching at St Andrews University, Edinburgh Napier University, Sheffield Music Academy and St Maryʼs Music School.
"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.
Sue plays a Selmer Mark 6 Alto (Selmer D mouthpiece/Claude Lakey mouthpiece), Yanagisawa Bronze 902 soprano saxophone (Yanagisawa 6 metal mouthpiece) and uses AMT TA2 Double Soprano Sax Microphone System