The Satchmo\' SuiteFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226487 | paperback / softback

$16.95 | 128 pages | Pub. Date: 2010
5.50 W × 8.50 H × 0.75 D inches
Drama | Backlist | Bisac: DRA013000
ISBN 13: 9780889226487 | Rights: WORLD

Hubert Clements is a black cellist on tour with a symphony orchestra. Their guest soloist is injured and the conductor asks Clements to stand in. After wrestling with an extremely dif?cult passage in the performance piece, Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello, Clements ?nally resorts to improvising his way through the score, which earns him a stinging rebuke from the conductor, who disdainfully calls him “Satchmo’.”

Humiliated, Clements returns to his hotel room, where try as he might he cannot master the piece. Unwittingly invoking the ghost of Louis Armstrong, the highly mythologized spirit of “the father of jazz himself,” Satchmo’ challenges Clements’ prejudiced view of him as an amateur and an “Uncle Tom.” Gradually, the lives of the characters intertwine and begin to play off each other as issues of class, hope, courage, family and race emerge in a lively and powerful struggle between what we remember, and how we remember it. In the end, of course, the drama resolves with Clements’s beautiful rendition of the Bach piece.

The play ultimately explores the polarities of existence—between the head and the heart, between logic and intuition, between insecurity and faith, between the present and the past, and between the personal and the public, and it is Hubert and Louis who embody these concepts for the audience. Finally, it’s a play about dealing with life’s struggles, having the courage to face one’s demons, and then having the faith to go on and be the best you can be.

Originally written as a highly successful one-person show, the play has evolved over the years into an ensemble piece with a cast of ?ve. Full of great jazz and classical music, but using none of Satchmo’s own compositions, the play incorporates nine original jazz songs, co-written by the author-musicians, into the action.

By Hans Böggild

Sophie Bienvenu is a Québécois writer. After studying visual communication in Paris, she settled in Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Et au pire, on se mariera (La Mèche) her first novel, was followed by Chercher Sam (translation forthcoming from Talonbooks, 2019), and Autour d’elle, translated as Around Her by Rhonda Mullins (Talonbooks, 2018). Ceci n’est pas de l’amour (This Is Not Love) was her first poetry collection, published in 2016 by Poètes de brousse. Bienvenu’s writing takes its readers on an emotional journey, an intense exploration of profoundly human characters, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Read more about Hans Böggild


By Doug Innis

Sophie Bienvenu is a Québécois writer. After studying visual communication in Paris, she settled in Quebec in 2001 and quickly established herself as a successful blogger. Et au pire, on se mariera (La Mèche) her first novel, was followed by Chercher Sam (translation forthcoming from Talonbooks, 2019), and Autour d’elle, translated as Around Her by Rhonda Mullins (Talonbooks, 2018). Ceci n’est pas de l’amour (This Is Not Love) was her first poetry collection, published in 2016 by Poètes de brousse. Bienvenu’s writing takes its readers on an emotional journey, an intense exploration of profoundly human characters, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Read more about Doug Innis


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