"A commanding singer...steeped in tradition...but with modern sensibilities."
- Downbeat Magazine
Milton Suggs’s voice and approach to music are a reflection not only of his direct lineage, but of the many great voices in Black American music and culture from the past century and beyond. Firmly rooted in the blues Milton sports a rich baritone with the breadth and power reminiscent of singers like Joe Williams, is able to emote with the soulful intensity of singers like Donny Hathaway, and achieve a velvet palette suggestive of Nat King Cole. Milton possesses a unique ability to evoke emotion with a masterful sense of phrasing and dynamics.
A gifted composer, arranger, and lyricist, Milton's music is both honest and inventive, drawing inspiration from a number of influences while forging a singular identity. As a visionary artist, Suggs seeks to pave new roads within the vast traditions that were laid before him for it is the spirit, struggles, triumphs, and stories from the many generations that preceded him that make up the foundation upon which his own artistry stands.
Voted repeatedly a top 10 rising star male vocalist in Downbeat Magazine’s annual critc’s poll, the recognition of Milton’s talents have continued to grow throughout his years as a fixture in Jazz working with artists and bands such as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Orrin Evans, Wycliffe Gordon, Ulysses Owens, and Marquis Hill among others. Milton has also been consistent with his own efforts as a recording artist, producing four albums to date and continually developing new projects with new ensembles.
Born in Chicago, IL, a third generation musician, Suggs recognized music as a gift from a young age; it was later that he would accept it as a calling. While growing up in Atlanta, GA, though continually exposed to music of varying styles, it was with his church choir at the age of seven that Milton garnered his first experiences with singing and performance. While in elementary and middle school, he gravitated toward the upright bass, the instrument of his father and namesake, and later played the alto saxophone and drums; however, it was not until after high school that he committed to the pursuit of music as his life’s work.
Returning to Chicago, he began studying piano with the legendary Willie Pickens, while also honing his craft as a vocalist and performer. In 2012 Milton moved to New York where he immediately took to performing throughout the city, and soon branching out internationally as a performer and educator. Presently, Milton Suggs continues to blaze a trail as a vocalist, composer, and educator touring throughout the world as both a collaborator and leader, embracing each opportunity to explore new creative terrain and further the legacy left by his predecessors.