summit sisters

Love Your Local Band: Summit Sisters

Summit Sisters plays Michael’s on Main on Wednesday, June 19

A decade ago, a self-described “mom band” in the Loma Prieta area used to play for kids participating in Theatre in the Mountains at their cast wrap parties. The band called itself the Summit Sisters, since they all lived off of Summit Road, and mostly played pop and rock tunes like “Brown Eyed Girl.”

The band had an engaged audience, but it wasn’t the one they intended. “The kids would be running around eating, and the parents would be listening,” says bassist Suzanne Suwanda.

In 2013, a friend asked the band to play a benefit for Pippa’s Garden, a local residence that hosted community events. That gig went so well, it kick-started the group into thinking outside of kids’ theatre gigs—that, and the fact that Suwanda had just gotten a new vintage electric bass.

These days, the group plays all over the Santa Cruz area and has a wide range of tunes in its repertoire.

“We do country, we do rock, we do pop, we do jazz, we do blues. We’re kind of everywhere,” says singer Marisa Thompson. “We all challenge ourselves to do new songs or new genres that we haven’t really tried.”

The group has an electric rock band set up—but with a flute player that plays on nearly half the songs. The Summit Sisters pride themselves on their harmonies, since everyone sings in the group but the drummer.

“We add harmonies wherever we can, whenever there’s an opportunity,” Suwanda says. “Someone will say, ‘John and Paul didn’t harmonize there.’ Well, we like it.” 

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.

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