The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sorrow at the passing of Suzanne Couch, well-known Jamaican singer, pianist, composer and producer, who was equally famous as a speciality caterer.
Minister Grange recalled that Mrs Couch joined the band ‘Native’ as a keyboard player with her husband Peter and lyricist Brian Jobson in 1980 and began writing songs together including ‘Fortunes of Love,’ which appeared on the soundtrack of Stephanie Black's famous documentary on Jamaica’s economic problems ‘Life and Debt’.
Suzanne became a featured singer on several Jamaican record releases, including Steely & Clevie's version of the Carly Simon song ‘Why’, Monty Alexander's album ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ and singles with Maxi Priest, Toots Hibbert, Mutabaruka, among others.
I was happy when Suzanne’s debut album - ‘Lifeline’ - appeared in 2001. Its excellence was praised in Jamaica and across the world, with some reviews recommending it for the Reggae Grammy award. She continued singing, composing and playing the piano, with special solo performances at Red Bones Café and, most recently, at a special benefit concert featuring Joss Stone at Strawberry Hill Hotel just a few weeks before her death.
Suzanne’s generous hospitality at her home studio introduced her friends to her tasty cuisine and they persuaded her to use this second talent profitably, so Suzanne grew into one of the best-known caterers for special events.
Suzanne Couch was more than a great Jamaican musician, songwriter and singer. She was a great Jamaican woman. I shall miss her, but Jamaica will be forever enriched by the music she left for us to enjoy. I send my condolences to Peter and their daughter Sarah. Rest well Suzanne Couch.