Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Ross, Briar (Susanne)
Ross, Briar (Susanne), vocalist; b. Auckland, New Zealand, 17 November 1948. She's still living in Auckland, as are her parents: Florence bernice Ross b 1920
Ronald George Ross b 1918. Her brother is Warwick Douglass Ross b 1940.
Ross, as a latecomer to the jazz scene is making a name for herself in New Zealand and Australia performing regularly at Jazz Festivals and wineries as well as doing private and corporate work. Briar, although an outgoing fun loving person always suffered from a fear of performing in public. She decided to overcome this and enrolled in a performance course that involved singing jazz an culminated in 3 performances for invited friends. During the course Briar wrote the song "Just Do It" which is about her own process of overcoming personal fear by "taking a breath and to Just Do it" This became the title track of Briars first CD recorded in 1997. Interestingly Briar had learnt various instruments at school and had sung in choirs but did not realize at that time the vocal ability that she had or that she would enjoy singing jazz so much. Briar continued to push her personal boundaries and joined a students performance group organized by her teacher, local musician Julie Mason and performed regularly on the students night at a pub in Auckland with professional musicians backing them. Briar now performs regularly at that pub The Gables in Herne Bay as a professional. Briar made her second CD, Do It Again, in 1999 and was now performing regularly in restaurants and at private functions as well as Jazz festivals in New Zealand and Australia. Briar's CDs are very popular at cellar doors in NZ and also the Margaret River and Hunter Valley regions of Australia. Her 3rd and most recent CD, Surrender and Win, was recorded in 2002 with young Sydney pianist Matt Baker on piano. Briar and Matt met at a Jazz Festival in Noosa Queensland and Matt came over form Sydney especially to make the recording. He is a very talented and experienced professional and has studied overseas with Benny Green and Harry Connick Jr. and performs regularly in Australia as part of Golapagus Duck and with John Morrisons band.