Susan Mayis a twenty-five year old singer and actress who made her national television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Show, singing from her critically acclaimed debut CD, “The Rose”. With her second CD on Southport Records, “Black Coffee”, Susan once again brings her captivating voice and sensitive style to eleven classic tracks. As stated by Jason Koransky, DownBeat Editor, “She can make your heart melt with her balladry…”
Susan has been featured as a soloist on WTTW’s Artbeat Chicago, Chicago Tonight, FOX TV News in the Morning, CBS’s TV Morning News Show, and Harry Porterfield of ABC Seven News in Chicago reported that “Susan May is Someone You Should Know”. Susan has performed at top jazz venues in Chicago, including Andy’s, Jazz Showcase, Pops for Champagne, Katerina’s, and MCAs Jazz on the Terrace series with jazz greats such as Leon Joyce and Larry Gray (members of the Ramsey Lewis Trio), Bobby Schiff (who has played with Peggy Lee & Mel Torme), Bobby Lewis (Tony Bennett & Ella Fitzgerald), and the legendary Willie Pickens. A performer at the 2004 Chicago Jazz Festival, Susan has also graced the stages of Chicago’s Center on Halsted, Apollo Theater, Royal George Theater, Arcada Theater, Merrillville’s Star Plaza with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the Whiting Festival Orchestra. Her performances have also included her own cabaret show at the Bailiwick Cabaret Series and performances as a member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals. In addition, Susan frequently gives benefit performances across the country, including a benefit for Pediatric Ewings Sarcoma in Carmel, CA.
In addition to singing, Susan is also a member of SAG and has received outstanding reviews for her acting ability. Her credits include: Lyric Opera of Chicago, First Folio Shakespeare (Macbeth and As You Like It), European Repertory Company (Woyzeck and Slavs!), and American Girl Theater. She has also appeared in the Bailiwick productions of Gypsy and The Christmas Schooner, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Sunday in the Park with George, Theater at the Center’s Meet Me In St. Louis and State Fair, and the film Soul Survivors.
Besides performing, Susan’s achievements in an accelerated academic program enabled her to start college at age 15. Susan has been the recipient of numerous art and academic awards including the 2009 VU Lumina Award, 2009 VU Board of Director’s Award for her organic chemistry research, 2008 CRC Chemistry Award, the 2006 Regional Youth Arts Award, and is a member of the Mortar Board, Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon and Delta Honor Society. She received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in May 2010 from Valparaiso University with a B.S. in chemistry and biology. Most recently Susan May received her MD from the UAB School of Medicine in May of 2014, was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and is currently a pediatric resident at St. Louis Children's Hospital, in addition to singing jazz.
"People can’t believe their ears! …go girl!"- Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC-TV Susan May made her national television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as part of the program called "The World’s Most Talented Kids," singing from her CD, "Feelin’ Good."
"She can make your heart melt with her balladry...Now with her sophomore release, "Black Coffee" May does what any artist should do- she takes her music to a new level." Jason Koransky, DownBeat Editor
"Highly recommended, The Rose brings out the best from Susan May and her musical partners. Rate this one with a maximum number of stars." Jim Santella CD review All About Jazz.com
"Susan May is Someone You Should Know" ... "Songs are written as notes and words in black and white. Susan delivers them with warmth and meaning as if they were dipped in sonic colors of the rainbow." - Harry Porterfield, Anchor/Reporter/Producer ABC Seven News, Chicago
"Susan’s singing voice...is the voice of an older, larger woman, a woman who maybe smokes a little, and likes a couple of drinks before bed and has had her beart broken a few times." Debra Pickett, The Chicago Sun-Times
"Chicago’s Susan May is a talent to watch...the young jazz performer delivers an incredible session.." Richard Bourcier Jazz Review
"... Ever since we started playing ‘The Rose’ here at WAER the feedback we have received from listeners has been nothing short of outstanding." Eric Cohen Music and Program Director WAER Radio New York
"...But it wasn’t her young age that first caught my attention...or her early exposure...or her effortless style. It was purely and simply–her voice." Jerry Davich The Times
"...she boasts a smoky, adult voice that floors those hearing her for the first time." Bob Kostanczuk Post-Tribune
"This 13-song collection of jazz and pop standards features this 12-year-old’s beautiful voice wrapped around familiar fare like ‘Embraceable You’, ‘Over the Rainbow’, and my favorite cut, ‘Smile’." Tom Lounges Times Correspondent
"Susan May’s voice belies her age...a maturity far beyond her years." Jerry D’Souza All About Jazz
"Listening to Susan May’s recording debut, one hears a mature singer with a strong and appealing voice." Scott Yanow All Music Guide
"If you hear Susan May’s voice before you see her you may have a difficult time reconciling... the rich voice you’ve heard crooning cabaret standards or show tunes." Jenn Goddu Post-Tribune correspondent
"Those of you standing should sit down...Susan May can really sing" - Rick Kogan WGN Radio Chicago
Susan May sang "The Very Thought of You" as if her 16-year-old heart had actually been there. The Valparaiso University sophomore and St. John resident entertained a crowd of about 200 at the 23rd annual VU Jazz Festival on Wednesday.