Suzanne Brooks and the innovative musicians of The Jazz Generation perform in many genres

The Jazz Generation, led by Suzanne Brooks, multi-lingual vocalist, songwriter and literary writer/speaker, was established as a multi-ethnic, multi-generational band in 2003. Twelve CDs, 2 musicals and 4 books are the result.

Musicians--Chris Lee, keyboard; Jim Wendt, keyboard/bass; Dave Peters, drums; and Michael Otwell, sax/flute--are her musical anchors. Every member of the group is exceptional in talent, sight-reading, experience & travel, enabling Brooks to draw on a huge repertoire in multiple genres, including jazz, R&B, pop, blues, Latin, Hawaiian, soft rock, Gospel and more. Members of the band perform as vocalist plus one to 4 musicians. Special: concert/lectures & original shows, "Great Women of Jazz, 1890-1990," “I Believe I Can Fly (2010) & "Aurora" included dancers" and, at times, collaboration with Afro-Uruguayan Candombe Drum School Founder, Sergio Ortuno (in Uruguay, South America) who has collaborated with Brooks in writing or recording 2 songs--"Candombe" and "Aurora" in 2011. A third show: “Time After Time: Jazz of the Past Reflected in Jazz Today," introduced in 2012, was recorded at Sacramento's Track Shack Studios.
Suzanne Brooks is Singer, Songwriter, Bandleader of The Jazz Generation Band. A Jazz Stylist who writes, produces & directs her own musical shows. Independent recording artist with 11 CDs, covers and original music. Literary writer: poems, fiction, nonfiction, one-act drama; public speaker on social issues. A singer since early childhood, Suzanne spent many years in church choirs and remains fond of all kinds of religious music, from hymns and chants to gospel. She credits her vast repertoire in jazz, pop, R&B, folk and country to exposure to many kinds of music in a variety of religious environments.

Christopher Lee began playing classical piano at the age of three and began learning jazz piano in high school. Although he was eventually persuaded to pursue actual "work". Chris continues to pursue his musical passion through his frequent performances with Sacramento- area musicians. Chris attributes his jazz education to the formal and informal encounters he has had over the years with area musicians including, chronologically, Craig Faniani, Jerry Murphy, Bobby Bradford (while in college in Southern California), Joe Gilman, Steve Roach, Mike Kelley, Aaron Garner, and Paul Klempau. Since returning to the Sacramento music scene in 2002, Chris has performed with a number of musical groups such as the CSUS Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Moonlight Swing Big Band, and has appeared in a number of venues, including the Mondavi Center, the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, and the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. Pianist with the Jazz Generation for 12 + years. Noted for exceptional improvisation & classical background. Has also performed around the region with the CSUS Latin Jazz Ensemble and with other bands.

Jim Wendt Began playing music in 5th grade with the Mellophone. By the time he finished high school, he had learned French Horn in school concert bands, picked up electric bass and played in Sacramento area blues bands, He next began playing jazz piano in the Sacramento area. A passionate, multi-instrumentalist, Jim shares his love of music in unique ways, locally to internationally.

Dave Peters: The Jazz Generation drummer for 10+years, Dave is a professional drummer who brings 30+ years of experience to the group. Equally passionate about music, he is also experienced in many music genres and styles. Has played with several Grammy winning musicians, including Jason Newsted (Metallica), Gordon Hunte (Sade), Julius Melendez (Santana) and Tony Lindsay (Santana) . The 1995 East Bay Guitar Center Drum Off Winner. Versed in many styles including: funk, jazz, R&B, Latin, Afro-Cuban, rock, Mexican, Reggae, Tejano. Performs regularly in Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco.
Michael Otwell is a versatile musician, exciting stage presence. Performs in multiple genres. Joined The Jazz Generation in 2014. Michael Otwell also with Equinox Jazz: Mainstream to Fusion Jazz. and Sabor Jazz (flavorful, tasty, savory, smooth, Latin Jazz).
Though the band was featured in recently released Lifoti's October/November 2019 issue 10, you can check it from below link's for your country:


  1. Thanks Andrew and Lifoti for a great article. We have been introducing new readers of your publication in many places, including to friends and associates in Uruguay, Sergio Ortuno and Triangulacion Kultural.
    Cordially, Suzanne Brooks, The Jazz Generation

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