San Diego's Queen of Boogie Woogie, Sue Palmer, has amazed audiences all over the world with her unique style and phenomenal left hand.

Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra, Movin' Along photo shoot, 2021

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Known world wide as the Queen of Boogie Woogie, Sultana of Swing, and Lady Who Skates on the 88s, Sue Palmer has been a presence on the live music scene in San Diego and the world for over 30 years. She was inducted into the San Diego Music Hall of Fame in 2018, had a day named after her by the city in 2008, and won numerous San Diego Music Awards for her bands and albums. She has recorded over 12 albums under her own name, securing an international award from The International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis for Best Self Produced Album (Sophisticated Ladies). She was the beehive wearing music director and longtime pianist for blues diva Candye Kane, through the 90s, appearing on many of her albums, touring world wide (France, Germany, England, The Czech Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, and more) as well as all over the US and parts of Canada. Sue has also toured Switzerland, Russia, The Netherlands, and Argentina under her own name. Her current Motel Swing Orchestra won the San Diego Music Award for Best Local Recording in 2021 for EP/Vinyl Recording "Movin' Along," and have now released a new 45 vinyl album called "Looking for a Parking Place," featuring 2 original songs, and also a video of the same name. She had a radio show for 3 years on San Diego's local Jazz station KSDS 88.3FM, and now hosts a podcast called "The Motel Swing Happy Hour KSUE San Diego." (, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes ) According to Claudia Russell, DJ Extraordinaire on KSDS 88.3FM, "When her heavily jeweled hands hit the 88s, you're in for a ride!" WATCH OUT: YOU may become a slave to the dance floor!! And, at the end of 2023, the San Diego Union Tribune chose "Eight to the Barre," a show combining Sue's Motel Swing Orchestra and the San Diego Ballet, as one of the top Dance Shows of the year!!

Candye Kane and Sue

Candye Kane and the Swingin' Armadillos at the Chesterfield Cafe in Paris, 1995... rare footage from a small club just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, just found in the home collection of Thomas Yearsley, featuring Candye Kane, Steve Wilcox on guitar, Sue Palmer on piano, Greg Willis on bass, Steve Geller on drums, with an introduction by Patricia Journo. Video by Sharon Shufelt.

Hadda Brooks and Sue. Photo by Montgomery Drysdale

Marcia Ball and Sue

"Her legs bowed intently, the laughter dancing above her fingertips, like a pool shark she is right on the money. Madame Palmer sets free the walking bass and the eight to the bar so inherent in this style of music. This musician possesses all the secrets of Boogie Woogie."

Le Monde, Paris, 1997



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