Sunnie Paxson

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An accomplished performer, composer, and songwriter, Sunnie Paxson embarked on a solo career of her own in 2002 after years of playing music with others. During the late '80s, she worked extensively with…
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An accomplished performer, composer, and songwriter, Sunnie Paxson embarked on a solo career of her own in 2002 after years of playing music with others. During the late '80s, she worked extensively with Stanley Clarke, gaining much of the experience she would later use to launch her own career. Throughout much of the '90s, she worked as a session musician in Los Angeles, where she remained quite busy and made important industry contacts. Finally, after years of contributing to the work of others, she recorded her first solo album, Groove Suite (2002), and began to make a name for herself as a solo artist.

Born in Philadelphia, Paxson began playing piano as soon as she was old enough to reach the keys. Her grandmother encouraged her to take piano lessons, and she continued studying the piano for years after. She studied at the Berklee College of Music with Ray Santisi and also became a student of world-renowned French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer. Paxson eventually moved to Atlantic City, where she labored for some time before Stanley Clarke invited her to join his group. From 1985 until 1988, she toured and recorded with Clarke as his keyboardist, even working with him on film scores. Following her stint with Clarke, Paxson moved to Los Angeles and began working as a session musician. Her career advanced quickly. Some of the artists she worked with include Harvey Mason, Michael Paulo, Everette Harp, Sekou Bunch, Michael Sembello, and many more. Her compositions and performances appeared regularly in motion pictures and television.

Paxson advanced her career one step further in 2002, when she released her debut solo album, Groove Suite. She wrote nine of the album's 11 songs, and crafted a funky update of the classic '70s disco hit "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)." Several noteworthy musicians such as Stanley Clarke and Larry Carlton join her on the album along with guitarist/singer Michael Sembello, bassist Jimmy Earl, and saxophonist Dave Boruff.