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COPUS: Bio

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COPUS is a world beat ensemble that weaves together dynamic Spoken Word poetry with lush musical landscapes expressive of multiple genres. Formed by renowned San Francisco poet ROYAL KENT and ASCAP award-winning composer WENDY LOOMIS,  the group has performed at clubs, theaters, and festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the country. A variety of talented musicians have performed with COPUS; in addition to spoken word artist/poet KENT and composer/pianist LOOMIS, the current ensemble includes long-time co-creator bassist PATRICK MAHON, drummer LEVON WASHINGTON, and singers MELISSA FINDER and ANN SOUREN.  In the words of music critic Michael Allison, “COPUS could become legendary if given the opportunity to thrive!”

 

 

 

 

From the band COPUS came the independent record label, COPUS MULTIMEDIA, that has been serving up conscious lyrics and music in San Francisco since 1999. Since the 'beat' era, the world's most prolific poets and musicians have called San Francisco home. Even in the new century, it is still a hotbed of great artistry. COPUS MULTIMEDIA is a label dedicated to providing world class, independent artists with production and distribution opportunities while offering thought-provoking content.

 

ROYAL KENT

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ROYAL KENT’s love of poetry goes back several decades. Originally inspired by the legendary Last Poets,  he has performed with dancers, theatrical troupes, poets, and many bands including the Vancouver-based Band of Angels and Czech Republic-based Pseudo Pseudo. He has produced TV, radio and stage shows, and is the co-founder of independent label COPUS MULTIMEDIA. As poet MC he has opened major reggae concerts for Peter Tosh, Toots & the Maytals, Steel Pulse and The Wailers. Kira Njinsky, daughter of the great Russian ballet star Njinksy, said: “Royal Kent recites poetry the way my father danced!”  "COPUS compositions are amazing with just the music, but then you get the added pleasure of the smooth spoken word vocal styles of Royal Kent. His poetic onslaught of powerful lyrics are mind boggling, to say the least. His silky smooth voice holds a tight grip on the listener's ear and keeps them in a state of mind numbing ecstasy." (Michael Allison, MusicDish.com)

 

WENDY LOOMIS

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Composer/pianist WENDY LOOMIS has released 14 CDs of her compositions for COPUS, acoustic ensemble Phoenix Rising, piano/vocal duo AWE, as well as solo piano works. She won the ASCAPlus award for composition four times, has been nominated for 'best new age' and 'best classical' by the Hollywood Music and Media Awards for Phoenix Rising songs, has had her commissioned works performed by flute ensembles, and has written music for several independent films. "Composer/pianist Wendy Loomis paints with a broad palette of jazz, classical, new age, avant garde and world colors, fusing styles ranging from Debussy to Thelonius Monk."  (Kelley Dolan, NoHands Records). "COPUS is a musical group with some of the most talented musicians that I have yet come across...The jazz styles are very complex and the music that is created is absolutely masterful." (Michael Allison)  Wendy earned her BA in Creative Arts and her MA in Arts Education.

 

PATRICK MAHON

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Bassist PATRICK MAHON was born and raised in San Francisco. Patrick studied jazz with Tony P. Miller, but he is primarily self-taught – giving him a creative facility and an eager ear for new ways of expression, including most recently using an unusual bowing technique on the electric bass. He joined COPUS in 2007, played on recordings 'Jah Provide', 'Aspects' and 'We All Bleed Red', and has performed with the ensemble throughout the Bay Area as well as in Atlanta, Boston, and New Orleans.  His influences include Charles Mingus, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, and Les Claypool. In addition to COPUS, Patrick has performed with bands Scaramanga, The Ambassadors, Electric Color Wheel, and is currently also with The Junque Show and Miss Lightning.

 

MELISSA FINDER

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Singer MELISSA FINDER hails originally from Detroit and began her singing career at the age of 12.
With a stylistic background that includes Jazz, R&B and Funk, she toured the US and settled in the SF Bay Area. She is equally at home on the stage and in the studio where she has recorded many original songs. Melissa has a warm, dynamic sound and a range that brings melodies and harmonies to life.  Melissa joined COPUS in the fall of 2017.

 

ANN SOUREN

Armenian-born singer ANN SOUREN is an artist that is passionate about all things musical. Ann joined a contemporary jazz and pop choir at age 8 and earned numerous awards. In 1999 she began touring throughout the Mediterranean and after a few years received her first Asia contract. Finding her new home in Beijing, China Ann spent 15 years mastering her craft with countless musicians in live and televised performances. Her time in China was concluded with a spectacular solo concert in Beijing and the formation a group of exceptionally talented group of musicians called “The Magic Fam” who performed her recently written original songs. Returning to San Francisco, Ann joined COPUS shortly after her return in fall 2017.

 

LEVON WASHINGTON

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Drummer LEVON WASHINGTON


 

 

For the many COPUS alumni and archives of the band, please visit http://www.copusmusic.net.