Today we’d like to introduce you to Sukari Reid-Glenn.
Sukari, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story begins as a misfit who was raised by my loving mom in the “hood.” The flute was my ticket out.
It was in high school, as a socially awkward teen, that my life and social status changed one day after I played Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” in the Locke High talent show. I went from being that “weird girl” to “that girl who can play that flute!” Playing my instrument did what all the teenage self-evaluations, coping tactics, and fighting in the world could not.
Once I started college, I would take the bus to school and work. I remember waiting at the bus stop once when one of the neighborhood gangsters – a HUGE guy – came over to ask me out. Once I declined his offer, he took a scrutinizing look at me and said, “I see you walking around here all the time with all those books and that instrument. You keep doing what’cha doing. Me and my boys won’t let nobody bother you. You gonna do something good with that thing one day.”
And it was true. This instrument has been a blessing from the MOST HIGH himself. With it, HE has kept me covered and provided so many life lessons, exposure and opportunities I’m certain I wouldn’t have had without it. So, while I used to view my flute simply as a way out of the “hood,” I now realize it is a gift given to me to connect with and inspire others.
No longer that awkward teen, I am now a professional flutist, composer, arranger and vocalist whose career has spanned more than 20 years. I have been blessed to perform and record with phenomenal musicians both nationally and internationally.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has it been a smooth road? Sure, about as smooth as a road under a three-legged camel that I’m trying to ride through a swamp while dodging tornadoes in a 7.6 earthquake.
No. Things have not been smooth, nor have the blessings always come easily – but they HAVE come. I am a black woman who plays the flute. Navigating through racism, sexism, the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood, and the lingering effects of a background of financial poverty has been . . . a challenge.
But through it all, there were ALWAYS angels who were there for me, recognizing my talent and potential or just willing to help and support me. Among them are legendary flautist, James Newton, former music chair of California State University, Dominguez Hills, Rod Butler, CSUDH music advisor, David Champion, my musical “mom,” Bettye Randle, world renown drummer, Billy Higgins, the iconic Dr. Yusef Lateef, my musical mentor, Bobby Bryant, Jr., and producer/engineer, Octavia Landix.
And I would just be WRONG if I didn’t mention the fact that I have been blessed with the greatest husband in the world. He and our daughter are gifts from the MOST HIGH.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with SRG Music – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The name of my company is SRG Music. Our goal is to change people’s perception of what the flute can do through performance and instruction. And in doing so, inspire flutists to bring about new innovations to the instrument.
As an artist, I approach my instrument like a horn: like a sax or trumpet. I have a big sound, and I stretch my playing beyond the norm while still respecting the style of music I’m working with. I play multiple genres, specializing in Jazz and Gospel. I also compose and arrange Jazz using modern techniques that are both current and approachable.
This is the philosophy that sets SRG Music apart from other companies: PUSH the instrument and think outside the box while playing it! To that end, SRG Music offers lessons and training sessions in flute, improvisation, creative music composition, and music theory to both children and adults. I am most proud of my students’ results.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
There are some really great things in the works! I am currently building SRG Music Studios – a place that will provide a great recording space for all artists.
I’m also working on an absolutely AMAZING solo project with producer/engineer, Octavia Landix. This project features me on both flute and vocals as well as my arrangements of some well-known Jazz standards. I’m also excited about an original piece. Octavia has been such a vital component to the completion of this project and it sounds so good!
And finally, I’m developing The Thomas Henry Reid Music Foundation in the US. The foundation is set to aid and support women music engineers and producers who need quality space, equipment, and opportunities to display their engineering and producing abilities.
As a musician, I’ve had the benefit of recording with numerous people and have met many engineers and producers. However, until my current project, I’d NEVER worked with a woman producer or engineer. The truth is, I don’t recall ever even seeing one. Now that I have, I see the incredible difference in her approach to my music, my vision, and recording experience. She listens with a different ear! This experience has had a tremendous impact on the outcome and quality of my project and has added an incredible outline to the structure of the foundation.
Artists need to experience the unique benefits of getting work produced, shaped, and recorded by women. I aim to do my part in making that happen. I have the equipment. Currently, I’m looking for like-minded partners and the right facility to house my studio and foundation in order to provide the opportunities.
- Website: srgmusiconline.com
- Phone: (562)304-6882
- Email: Sukari.SRGMusic@gmail.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SRGMusic