Charles Suhor

Profile Updated: November 25, 2018
Residing In Montgomery, AL USA
Spouse/Partner Deborah Little (previously Jessie Miller, deceased)
Career/Worklife After teaching at Franklin, I was English Supervisor for N.O. Public Schools, 1967-77. Then Deputy Executive Director, Natl. Council of Teachers of English, 1977-97. Retired early to Montgomery, AL. Lifelong parallel career as a jazz writer/drummer.
Children Mike, born 1956; Greg (aka Stephan Sure, 1960-1999); Yvonne, 1961; Julie, 1963; Beth and Cathy, 1964; More…Jean (aka DJ, 1965-2007); Paul, 1966; David, 1968; Dianna, 1969; Janet, 1973. I keep contact with my nine surviving kids and ten grands, mainly via Facebook and email.
Military Service Army  
Yes! Attending Reunion
Will you attend the reunion?

Yes, I will attend alone

Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the class of 1967--a really bright and varied group--and will be pleased to see those who are at the reunion. I hope many of you will be there.

School Story

More that was fun than funny--though the teachers' lounge was a gathering place that furnished a good deal of intended and unintended humor. A great mix of personalities.

What are you up to now?

I recently finished a manuscript about English teaching in N.O. and the nation, 1967-1977--the turbulent decade when I was English Supervisor for N.O. Public Schools. I lead a weekly meditation and discussion group (mostly Buddhist) at the Unitarian Fellowship of Montgomery. My bio of my late brother Don, a great but under-recognized jazz reedman, is in the current issue of Tulane's Jazz Archivist. I've put together two CDs of his best playing from private sessions and am negotiating distribution with a N.O. label. My next project is a book about my grandfather Antun, a larger than life figure who ran away from Croatia and settled in the 9th Ward. A bar pilot, he died at age 43 in 1905 at the helm of a ship. Next will be a book of haiku about aging. I'm not bored.

Retirement

I went seamlessly in 1997 from my work at NCTE (Urbana, Ill.) to life in Montgomery, Alabama--a fine historical town. My wife, Deborah Little, taught at ASU here until 2006. We both became active in liberal causes with the Unitarian Fellowship. I continued NCTE's anti-censorship work from my home until 2007; wrote a book, "Jazz in New Orleans: The Postwar Years Through 1970" (2001). I quit playing drums in about 2006--my chops were down, mainly. I gathered my late son Stephan's writings for a volume titled "The Book of Rude and Other Outrages--A Queer Self-Portrait" (2007). I've traveled to Europe, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, and numerous US sites.

What makes your life rich?

Just about everything.

How would you like to be remembered?

As an earnest, sometimes effective teacher.

Convince others to come to the reunion

If you don't show up, that's a minus 3 on the final exam.

Are you open to phone calls?

Yes

Are you open to emails?

Yes

Would you be interested in purchasing a DVD of the reunion?

Yes

Hotel Needs

Yes

Hotel Group Rate

Yes

Charles' Latest Interactions

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Charles Suhor posted a message. New comment added.
Nov
26
Nov 26, 2018 at 8:45 AM

Posted on: Nov 25, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Maybe you've heard this. If not, know a new book by James Nolan, class of '75, Nasty Water: Collected New Orleans Poems, is out. The poems are varied-- imaginative, intense, poignant, funny, and lots of other adjectives—and I'm only on page 22. Real N.O. stuff, too.

https://www.amazon.com/Nasty-Water-Collected-Orleans-Poems/dp/1946160350/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543200964&sr=1-1

Charles Suhor posted a message.
Aug
28
Aug 28, 2018 at 4:16 PM

Early reviews of my late brother Don's Jazzology 2-CD set, "Don Suhor—New Orleans Clarinet and Sax Virtuoso," are out. Great comments from Peter Lay in London, Geraldine Wycoff in a N.O., and Scott Yanow in Syncopated Times.

“Highly Recommended! These CDs mean that Don Suhor’s talents will not go unsung.” --Peter Lay, Just Jazz magazine (July 2018)

“Don Suhor thoroughly embraced both traditional and modern jazz and often would infiltrate one of these kissin’ cousins within the other. He also brought an equal amount of fervor to the clarinet, his first instrument, and the saxophone. Don Suhor continually demonstrates his love of all jazz and the wholeness that remains the music’s, as well as his, essence.”--Geraldine Wycoff, New Orleans OffBeat weekly (July 31, 2018)

“On both of his instruments, Suhor had a wide range and was able to high very high notes with ease, making the occasional leaps into the stratosphere a logical part of his open-mined style....Despite his lack of interest in being documented, the release of this twofer lets one enjoy the musical legacy of Don Suhor, a talent who deserves to be remembered.”--Scott Yanow, Syncopated Times (August 2018)

I was in the city in July for a jam session/tribute to Don at Snug Harbor organized bu some of his colleagues. It was very touching, and the jazz was terrific.

Charles Suhor posted a message.
Jul
05
Jul 05, 2018 at 2:03 PM

On Thursday, July 19, I’ll be in town at Snug Harbor on Frenchmen Street to hear a musical tribute to my later brother, Don. He was a great clarinetist and alto saxophonist who lived under the public radar but was universally admired by fellow musicians. A group of them organized this session in his honor, co-ordinating with the release of a 2-CD set of his best work on Jazzology Records. I won’t sit in but my son David, a jazz vocalist in Pensacola, will do a song or two. Shows are at 8 and 10 pm. Hope to see some of you there.

Charles Suhor posted a message.
Jun
05
Jun 05, 2018 at 10:27 PM

My brother Don's two-set CD was just released on GHB/Jazzology. Don played in N.O. for over 55 years. He was never a self-promoter, but as Tommy Sancton wrote, "Don Suhor remains a legend among musicians who knew and worked with him." He made a few recordings as a sideman before he died in 2003, but they didn't give a sense of the range of his talent. Twenty-two of the 27 tracks for the 2-CD set I compiled for Jazzology feature Don in privately recorded trio and quartet settings. The "Clarinet Connections” disk shows how he combined brilliant technique with soulful New Orleans feeling in a unique “Dixiebop” style. The “New Orleans Spot Gig + 2” disk features Don on modern jazz alto sax for eight tracks at an only-in-New Orleans wedding reception, plus two trio tracks in the Lee Konitz tradition. If you’d like a copy, I have a good stack that I can sell at the discounted price of $15. Send a check and your address to me at 3566 Audubon Road, Montgomery, AL 36111.


Don Suhor--New Orleans Clarinet and Sax Virtuoso
G.H.B. Records [ BCD-561/562 ]

RECORDING ARTISTS:
Amy Sharpe Trio
Gary Burghoff's Mardi Gras Celebration Band
Topsy Chapman & The Pro's
Wendell Brunious Jazz Band
John Eubanks Trio
Don Vappie Quartet
TRACKS:
Disc One
Petite Fleur
Crazy Rhythm
Sweet Georgia Brown
Sweet Lorraine
Seven Come Eleven
Lazy River
A Closer Walk with Thee
'Swonderful
Basin Street
Someday You'll Be Sorry
Just A Little While To Stay Here
If Dreams Come True
Dippermouth Blues
Struttin' With Some Barbecue
All The Things You Are

Disc Two
Slow Boat to China
How Deep is the Ocean
Lady Be Good
Makin' Whoopee
Caravan
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
South Rampart Street Parade
Take the A-Train
Second Line
Lotus Blossom
Ezz-Thetic

Charles Suhor has a birthday today.
Jun
03
Jun 03, 2018 at 3:33 AM
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Dec 07, 2017 at 4:15 PM
Charles Suhor posted a message.
Nov 11, 2017 at 12:33 PM

Sorry I missed the reunion--sounds like it was warm, interesting, and not the least, party-ful. (Okay, that's not a word, but I can’t think of one that gets to the meaning). It has been great linking up with so many of you on this site, which I trust will stay open. I'll want to let you know when two retirement projects are being released early next year. A book titled "Creativity and Chaos: Progressivism in New Orleans Public Schools and the Nation, 1967-1977" includes Franklin events but mainly deals with the the tumultuous decade after, when I was English Supervisor for the district. The other project is a two-CD set of my later brother Don's best work on clarinet and alto sax. He was brilliant but under-recognized, and the mentor for my parallel career as a drummer and jazz journalist. I wrote Don's bio for the 2016 issue of Tulane's "Jazz Archivist" journal. I’m glad I’ll be seeing you-all on the video that Michael is sending. You are a remarkable group.

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Oct 01, 2017 at 1:34 PM
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Sep 17, 2017 at 10:23 PM
Charles Suhor posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 02, 2017 at 2:04 PM

Posted on: Sep 01, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Sadly, I won’t be at the reunion after all. Motor trips out of town have come to be too exhausting. I’ve had a kind offer to hitch a ride. That would help, but it's also the energy of the event that's a problem. I'm passing up a Thanksgiving trip to Florida for a family gathering because even great times together are stressful. I want to add that this isn't a muted way of saying I'm in bad health. I'm aging pretty heartily—just slowing down. Actually, trying to understand aging is pretty interesting. I've been writing a "haiku journal" of sorts about it.

Slowly, if you are       
lucky, old age will show up.    
Then, meet its newness.

I bring mindfulness   
to aging. What’s amazing is,   
I’m here to do it.

Years of retirement
have deconstructed the self   
I knew. Let it pass.

Etc, etc, etc….

Charles Suhor posted a message.
Jul 22, 2017 at 6:02 PM

Today I finished Melissa Milliner Daggett’s book, Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans: The Life and Times of Henry Louis Rey, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. The title sounds esoteric and specialized but it’s a totally readable narrative of the times and a fascinating biography, with insights into the Creoles of Color and many aspects New Orleans culture that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Quite a writer. (No thanks to me--Melissa wasn’t in my class!)

Jul 14, 2017 at 1:53 PM
Charles Suhor posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 16, 2017 at 3:45 PM

Posted on: Jun 06, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Hello, Fred-- I'm glad to hear that you're still among the faculty alumni from 1967. You, I, and our good colleague and friend Marilyn Fulmer Sewell are possibly the only survivors. I'm the senior-est among us about 18 months older than you--turned 82 on June 3rd. I last heard from Marilyn in March. She's well and, as ever, brilliant and interesting. She says she has kept occasional contact with you. I trust you've seen her stunningly frank autobiography, Raw Faith, and her post-ministry DVD of the same name.
Congratulations on being named so often as a favorite by the students--not a surprise to me, nor to you, I'm sure.

Charles Suhor has a birthday today. New comment added.
Jun 03, 2017 at 8:39 PM

Posted on: Jun 03, 2017 at 3:33 AM

Charles Suhor posted a message.
Apr 06, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Wonderful visit with three BFHS folks March 23 and 24--lunch with Tom Sancton at Pascal's Manale and hanging out at Maple Leaf with Mike Martin (who I didn't teach, to my regret) and James Nolan (class of '65). The combo was led by Johnny Vidacovich. I taught him drums privately for five years--musical moonlighting was fun, and nece$$ary. Tom has a fine new book in press, The Bettencourt Affair, about a famous scandal in France. Jimmy's book, Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy, is just out. It's chock full of N.O. (and some Franklin) stuff and hair-raising adventures in Guatemala, China, and Spain.

Charles Suhor added a comment on his Profile.
Apr 06, 2017 at 2:54 PM
Charles Suhor added a comment on his Profile. New comment added.
Mar 19, 2017 at 2:34 PM

Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 at 2:34 PM

1975 Jazz fest poster....fred laredo - thorn grafton
Charles Suhor posted a message.
Mar 02, 2017 at 2:37 PM

Carol Johnson mentioned Julia Schueler, a beloved French teacher. It occurs to me that others of you might not know about the biography she wrote, ELSEWHERE: A MEMOIR. It was published by LSU Press just before her death. (https://www.amazon.com/Elsewhere-Memoir-Julia-Schueler/dp/0807123765/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488486628&sr=1-4&keywords=elsewhere+a+memoir). Her great personal warmth comes thorough in the book.

Charles Suhor added a comment on his Profile.
Mar 02, 2017 at 1:36 PM
Charles Suhor posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 02, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Posted on: Mar 01, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Carol, I remember what a really fine student you were and recall fondly our unexpected meeting around 2002. Serendipity—what a gift! You were in the U.S., apparently in between missionary trips, visiting someone (a grandmother?) at Summerville, a retirement facility in Kenner. My wife, Deborah Little, and I had driven in from Montgomery to see her mother there, and I was giving a guest talk on early jazz. It was also a special day because I discovered that my choral music teacher from Washington Elementary School, Dorothy Schmidt Obits, was living there. I was pleased to tell the group that her joyful teaching had greatly enriched the lives of me and my four siblings and no doubt hundreds of others. I hope you'll be at the reunion.