“Susanna Starling does not disappoint…the combination of voice and double bass was beautiful…[she] proved my scepticism about the potential of the voice and bass combination completely wrong… I can’t wait to see what she does next…one to watch out for in the future” Oxford Culture Review, 2014
Mar 2015: The DellyWellyBoot Band, The Oxford Times
Sep 2014: Susanna Starling, Oxford Culture Review
Susanna also makes practical and decorative items out of (mainly) reclaimed materials including feathers, copper wire & old Post Office bags. Check those out here!
"Susanna Starling sings her own original material plus unique interpretations of English folk and vintage jazz/cabaret, accompanied by nothing but her upright double bass"
Although you might have seen her…
...with fabulous folky trio The Boot Band
…at the Holywell Music Room with Miss Mahler & Laveroc
...with OX7 ceilidh locals Finstock Festival Band
...with East Oxford's legendary worldpunkfolkskiffle outfit Inflatable Buddha
…with Californian cult legend Anton Barbeau
...improvising live to silent films with The Mighty Wurlitzer
... at Queen of Clubs Cabaret (compering/co-organising/performing)
... at Arcane Festival (compering/co-organising/performing)
Susanna Starling grew up surrounded by jazz, folk and classical music, sang from an early age and started learning the bass aged 11. After 10+ years of orchestral playing she finally got around to playing the kind of stuff she picked up the bass to play, in a bluegrass outfit with two lovely Oxford Classics fellows and then in crazy-ass world-punk-folk-skiffle band Inflatable Buddha, initially formed with awesome performance poet Steve Larkin, hurdy-gurdist Mauro Sanin & tabla player David Hart (and with whom she was lucky enough to tour Canadian Fringe Theatre festivals in 2008). She now plays bass and sings with eclectic folky trio The Boot Band and occasionally performs solo (in which guise she has supported Cara Dillon at Arlington Arts, Newbury, played for Oxford Contemporary Music and provided music for numerous birthdays, parties and weddings).
In over 30 years of live performance, she has appeared at countless festivals including Glastonbury, Wilderness, Boomtown and Secret Garden Party; supported folky legends including Robin Williamson, Peggy Seeger and Martin Carthy; sung live on Radio 3's The Verb with Sharron Kraus; played with Oxford University Chamber Orchestra & Nigel Kennedy; performed in venues ranging from allotments to churches, a cinema, a houseboat, the gallery of Wadham College, Oxford, clubs & pubs including London’s renowned Stranger Than Paradise, The Luminaire & The Bell, Bath and finally - in a bike shop. (See most of that listed here.) She is now honoured and delighted to be mainly playing regularly with two extremely talented musicians and composers - Judith Hooper, nee Henderson (fiddles, egg shaker, vox) and Nick Hooper (guitars, banjo, vox, kazoo).
Susanna is the stepdaughter of inspirational musician and community choir leader Sarah Morgan and the daughter of Hampshire folk singers Steve and Cheryl Jordan (Forest Tracks). She is also Trustee of the Sarah Morgan Foundation, a small charity formed to continue Sarah's work promoting English traditional music.