Suzanne Cloud

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Born: Suzanne Raynor Dunkle 1951 in Philadelphia, PA Married: 1982 Nelson Tapper Widowed 1999 Children: Ryan Douglass Long, Christian Andrew Cloud, Joshua Lane Cloud

Suzanne Cloud (born September 7, 1951) is an American jazz singer, writer, teacher, and is currently the director of the Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project, an ongoing archival initiative. Cloud was the founding executive director of Jazz Bridge, an award-winning organization incorporated in 2005 with friend and fellow jazz singer Wendy Simon to help local jazz and blues musicians in crisis,[1] was named a Creative Connector[2] by the Philadelphia Leadership Council in 2012, and featured by WHYY for her work for the organization.[3] Cloud is the editor of The Real Philadelphia Book, 2nd edition (being published by Temple University Press, Fall 2019), featuring over 300 original jazz and blues compositions by Philadelphia-area musicians, which was the dream of musician David Dzubinski of creating a compendium of music by regional artists.[4] This idea led, in 2016, to a grant awarded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to present the Philadelphia Real Book Concerts: New Music in Jazz and Blues,[5] which featured saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Duane Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Pat Martino, Uri Caine, Christian McBride, Monnette Sudler, Odean Pope, and Dave Burrell. This series of concerts helped stimulate a rebirth of activity in the city's jazz community and expanded the purpose of the Jazz Bridge Neighborhood Concerts[6], established in Collingswood, NJ, by Cloud in 2004. Other special projects that Cloud initiated was Last Call at the Downbeat[7], a musical play about Dizzy Gillespie's early years in Philly written and directed by Suzanne Cloud for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) in 2014 and Vision Song: Our Hearts, Our Future, Our Voices[8] for PIFA 2016 with a new composition by saxophonist Bobby Zankel and his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound jazz orchestra with the students of Grover Washington Jr. Middle School, which was performed at the Kimmel Center. Named Philadelphia Jazz Hero 2019 by the Jazz Journalists Association.[9]

Early Life[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, Suzanne (nee Dunkle) grew up in Pennsauken, NJ, in a musical family; her father played ukulele and banjo and her mother sang. Suzanne studied piano and was active in the chorus at Pennsauken High School, eventually snaring the lead as Lili in the senior musical Carnival. Cloud left to attend nursing school at Methodist Hospital after graduating high school in 1969, but she had been bitten by the performance bug and appeared in regional productions of The Pajama Game (1970) and Bell Book and Candle (1971), the latter a musical version of the play with music and lyrics written by noted composer Lee Goldstein.


Attended Methodist Hospital School of Nursing 1969-1972

Rutgers University- Camden, NJ 1989-1993 BA (History/Writing)

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1993-1996 MA (American Studies)

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1996- 2004 PhD (American Studies)

Dissertation: Children of the Earle Theatre: The Philadelphia Jazz Community and the Jazz Aesthetic[10]

Bands and Musicians[edit]

In the mid-1970s, Suzanne was hired as a lead singer with a disco band called "Autumn" led by bassist Frank Cook and guitarist Tom Glenn. Suzanne Cloud played the Top-40 disco circuit while recording jingles for local banks, retail stores, Armstrong Floors, Comcast Cable and the tune "Come Fly With Me" for the production show at the Playboy Casino in Atlantic City. By 1980, Cloud had switched from cover bands and jingles to jazz[11] while indulging her love of songwriting with producer and arranger Richie Rome[12]. Beginning around 1982, Cloud began working steadily with Philadelphia jazz pianist and jazz fusion pioneer Eddie Green, strictly singing jazz in Philadelphia hotels (hosting a well-known jam session at the Latham Hotel's "Not Quite Cricket Room"), Atlantic City casinos, and in little neighborhood jazz clubs throughout the metro area. This steady work resulted in a debut LP called I LIke It[13] in 1986, with many songs written by Green and Cloud, on the Encounter Records label (Later Dreambox Media).[14]

Discography (As a leader)

I Like It (Encounter Records) 1986 with pianist Eddie Green, bassist Tyrone Brown, and drummer Jim Miller.

With a Little Help From My Friends (Dreambox Media) 1996: Assorted musicians including, Jef Lee Johnson, Tyrone Brown, Gerald Veasley, Denis DiBlasio, Jim Miller, Ron Thomas, Darryl Hall, Chico Huff, Eddie Green, Dale Devoe, E.J. Yellin, Mark Knox, Ben Schacter.[15]

Looking Back (Dreambox Media) 2001 with Eddie Green, Tyrone Brown, Denis DiBlasio, Jim Miller, Jim Ridl, Dale Devoe, Darryl Hall.[16]

(as a featured artist)

Reflections of Childhood (Dreambox Media) 1997 Leader: saxophonist Denis DiBlasio[17]

Rhino (Dreambox Media) 2000 Leader: Denis DiBlasio[18]

If It's Not One Thing . . . (Dreambox Media) 2004 Leader: Jim Miller with Miller Time Band[19]

Work as a Writer[edit]

Contributing writer for the Broad Street Review

Contributing writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Contributing writer for The Chestnut Hill Local

Enslow Publishing (under the name of Suzanne Cloud Tapper PhD) : Young Adult Series[edit]

Political Debates on Slavery

Views on Slavery: In the Words of Enslaved Africans, Merchants, Owners, and Abolitionists

The Abolition of Slavery: Fighting for a Free America


  1. ^ "A Jazz Bridge to Musicians in Need - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  2. ^ Philly Jazz (2012-02-03), Suzanne Cloud and Jazz Bridge, retrieved 2018-07-22
  3. ^ "Jazz Bridge director Suzanne Cloud steps up to support musicians in crisis : WHYY". WHYY. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  4. ^ "Philly jazz greats celebrate publication of new book". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  5. ^ admin (2016-11-30). "Philadelphia Real Book Concerts - New Music in Jazz and Blues". The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  6. ^ "Jazz Bridge Real Book Neighborhood Concerts with Chris Aschman's Electric Band". Montgomery News. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  7. ^ "'Last Call at the Downbeat' shines a spotlight on a jazz legend's forgotten Philly connection". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  8. ^ "Vision Song: Our Hearts, Our Future, Our Voices | Love the Arts". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  9. ^ "2019 Jazz Heroes". JJA Jazz Awards 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  10. ^ Cloud Tapper, Suzanne (2003-01-01). "Children of the Earle Theatre: The Philadelphia jazz community and the jazz aesthetic". Dissertations available from ProQuest: 1–191.
  11. ^ Jazz, All About. "Suzanne Cloud at All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  12. ^ "Richie Rome", Wikipedia, 2019-02-05, retrieved 2019-02-21
  13. ^ "Suzanne Cloud - I Like It!". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  14. ^ Jazz, All About. "Dreambox Media: The Philadelphia Jazz Label". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  15. ^ Jazz, All About. "Suzanne Cloud: With A Little Help From My Friends". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  16. ^ Jazz, All About. "Suzanne Cloud: Looking Back". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  17. ^ Breton, Marcela. "Denis DiBlasio: Reflections of Childhood". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  18. ^ "Rhino - Denis DiBlasio | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  19. ^ Jazz, All About. "Jim Miller Time: If It's Not One Thing..." All About Jazz. Retrieved 2019-05-10.