ALEXIS P. SUTER
Alexis P. Suter is the youngest daughter born to Carrie Suter (Artist, Teacher) and Albert Suter (Postal Worker, Preacher) in Brooklyn, New York. Alexis was always destined for the stage as she began singing at the tender age of four in church recitals and special events. As a young girl she would create songs to sing for her mother or anyone else who wanted to listen. Alexis attended “The Little Children’s Theatre” on Church Avenue in Brooklyn briefly for vocal lessons but preferred her mother’s instructions as she would receive her undivided attention.
While visiting New Orleans at age nine with her parents who were attending a postal convention, Alexis had the pleasure of meeting “The Mills Brothers”. When her parents attended various meetings and workshops, Alexis would sneak off into the rehearsal of the Mills Brothers enamored by their succinct harmonies and sound. The music of the Mills Brothers was very new to Alexis as only Gospel music was played in her home. Harry Mills, lead singer, was so moved by her wonder and excitement he invited Alexis and her family to their show that evening. From that night on a whole new world opened up for Alexis. She began discreetly bringing other forms of music into her home and discovering talent outside of the church.
In elementary school PS 20, she joined the band playing the “snare drums, bass drums and timpani's” under the direction of James R. Drayton. Drayton was so impressed he later encouraged her to handle the “sousaphone B-flat tuba”. Alexis played the sousaphone for the next 9 years until she left Junior High School 294 in the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area of Brooklyn. Also during her time at PS 20, Alexis sang in the school choir under the direction of Isaiah Ruffin.
As the years went by, Alexis seized every opportunity to perform and listen to other live performances. Although she appreciated all types of music, her roots were Gospel. She often attended different churches to experience the many styles of worship and music ministry. In her early twenties, Alexis discovered the world of theatre. She joined a very talented and diverse group of artists known as the “Performance Art Chorale” (PAC) under the direction of Miche Braden. With Ms. Braden’s coaching she deepened her knowledge of the performance art, developed acting skills and expanded her vocal repertoire.
After singing for several years in various choirs and making small club appearances, Alexis longed for the opportunity to share her talents on a broader scale. She began to sing “House/Dance” music and made her first solo recording with the song “Slam Me Baby”; released in 1990. The success of this record launched her career and she became the first African American woman signed to Epic Sony Japan’s Dance label. Shortly thereafter she met Vicki Bell (songwriter, producer, vocalist with “Hipbone Records”) at a function where they both sang background vocals for a mutual friend. One year later, Alexis received a call from “Hipbone Records” and was asked to do vocals on one of their recordings. Alexis quickly signed with “Hipbone Records” and has continued her relationship with them to the present day.
In 2005, Alexis recorded her first full length CD entitled “Shuga Fix” featuring original tunes and a more soulful sound. To her credit she has recorded a total of 6 CDs thus far. In addition to “Shuga Fix” are “Just Another Fool”, “Alexis P Suter Band LIVE at the Midnight Ramble” (Alexis went on to open for the late Levon Helm at the Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, NY over 90 times), “Two Sides”, “Live at the Turning Point”, "Love the Way You Roll" and her current Blues/Rock CD “All For Loving You”. The latter is presently doing very well on all of the Blues Charts.
Alexis and her band have been the opening act for the following artists: Bo Diddley, Dickey Bets, BB King, Coco Montoya, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Allen Touissaint, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Winter, Elvis Costello and for the 20 year reunion of the Muddy Waters Band. She has been a guest on the “Imus in the Morning Show” and the “Artie Lange Show” in addition to being a featured artist in over 50 Blues and Roots festivals nationwide. Alexis has had many musical influences; some of her favorites are Barry White, Baby Huey and the Babysitters, America, Ruth Brown, Levon Helm, BB King, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Clinton Utterbach Ensemble, James Cleveland and Isaac Hayes. Alexis notes that her mother Carrie Suter,(who sang with Mahalia Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Mavis Staples, Dionne Warwick, Quincey Jones, Tommy Dorsey and the Hall Johnson Singers) has been the greatest influence of all.
Recently Alexis has formed “The Ministers of Sound”, AMOS, an ensemble which includes Vicki Bell, Ray Grappone, Dave Keyes and special guest musicians. They have just released their first album, AMOS, "Live From Briggs Farm". The powerful debut is a collection of original and classic songs interpreted in Roots, Gospel and Soulful styles. Of her many dreams Alexis would love to travel around the globe using her powerful voice to open and heal the hearts and minds of people all over the world.