Up-and-coming jazz guitarist Monet Sudler has died at the age of 70

Mark Christman, founder of Ars Nova Workshop, a new music host, said Sudler was “a force in Philadelphia.”

“That’s the trajectory of the early recordings of a young, talented jazz woman in Philadelphia with Sounds of Liberation, you see this amazing career of her working with Freddie Hubbard, David Murray and Sam Rivers and playing the Newport scene,” Christman said. “Obviously , that her work is the music of a musician, a person whom you invite to cooperate.”

In the 1990s, Sudler spent two years in prison for vehicular manslaughter in 1993.

Later, in 2009, she organized and hosted the Philadelphia Jazz Summit, a gathering and exhibition of great guitarists from various genres including rock, country, folk and jazz. The summit continued annually for 10 years.

“She was instrumental in creating a space for female musicians in Philadelphia and beyond,” said choreographer and longtime friend Germaine Ingram. “Her Guitar Summit was one of the places where she showcased the musical prowess of women, especially female guitarists. She sponsored it very often on a dime in a wish for several years.”

Around the time she started the summit, her health was severely compromised by deteriorating lungs. She was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scarring of the lungs. At worst, she was on oxygen 24 hours a day.

In 2013, she underwent a double lung transplant. A few months later, with her fingers still slightly numb from the operation, Sudler returned to organizing concerts and performing.

Sudler released her latest album, Stay Strong, in the fall of 2021. She was in May of last year winner of the Ars Nova workshop fundraiserwhich she visited virtually.

On Monday, the day after Sudler’s death, her family and friends began making funeral and memorial arrangements, which have yet to be completed.

“That was the main focus today to look at what the final arrangements will be,” Ingram said Monday. “Acknowledging the wide community of people who want to pay tribute to Monet.”


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