Copus

Copus

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandSpoken WordJazz

COPUS is a spoken word jazz ensemble that creates and presents original material with a positive message.

Biography

COPUS is a world beat ensemble that presents conscious lyrics and beautiful melodies for the intelligent listener. Formed by renowned 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, Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Western Massachusetts, and most recently New Orleans at the Cutting Edge Festival.  In November 2015 track “Haves & Have Nots” was nominated for best jazz song by the Hollywood Music and Media Awards.  The group has released “COPUS to the World” music video, full-length CDs “Aspects” and “Later Than You Think”,; single ‘The Fool”; and trilogy “Jah Provide. “COPUS could become legendary if given the opportunity to thrive!” -Michael Allison, MusicDish.com

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 television, radio and stage shows, and is the co-founder of independent label Copus Music.  As poet MC he has opened major reggae concerts for Peter Tosh, Toots & the Maytals, and The Wailers.  Kira Njinsky, daughter of the great Russian ballet star Njinksy, said: “Royal Kent recites poetry the way my grandfather danced!”

Composer/pianist WENDY LOOMIS has released 14 CDs of her compositions for COPUS, acoustic ensemble Phoenix Rising, as well as solo piano works.  She won the ASCAPlus award for composition four times, was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting competition, has had her commissioned works performed by flute ensembles, and is currently writing music for film.   Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts and her master’s degree in Arts Education.  She is the co-founder and president of Copus Music LLC and teaches private piano at her San Francisco studio.

Flutist MONICA WILLIAMS is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and has studied with several esteemed flutists such as Bonita Boyd, Susan Levitin, and Brad Garner.  She has performed with orchestras in Chicago, Rochester, and Cincinnati and has toured Europe and the United States. In addition to COPUS, Monica is a member of Phoenix Rising with Wendy; their 2 CDs, ‘Whispers’ and ‘Ascension’ , have been receiving critical acclaim including the latter being nominated for ‘best acoustic album of the year’.  Phoenix Rising is currently working on their third CD 'Mystic Places' that will be released in November 2013.  Monica is the director of Flock of Flutes and teaches private flute at Civic Arts Center of Walnut Creek and her home studio in San Francisco.

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 the ‘Jah Provide’ trilogy, and has performed at many Bay Area gigs as well as at the Sweet Auburn Springfest in Atlanta.  His influences include Charles Mingus, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, and Les Claypool.  In addition to COPUS, Patrick has performed with bands Scaramanga, The Ambassadors, and Electric Color Wheel.  

Drummer GREG McRAY is Drummer Greg McRay was fortunate to grow up in a musical family. His father, saxophonist Robert McRay, played the jazz circuit both in the U.S. and Europe. Greg has studied with Benny Green, Jim Smith, and Tony Williams and performed with many California-based jazz, fusion, and rock bands.  Drawing on the powerful musicianship of Art Blakey, Max Roach, Bill Bruford, and Billy Cobham, Greg brought his creative drum playing to Copus in the summer of 2002.


Lyrics

The Fool

Written By: Royal Kent

Now you may all
Sit there
And wonder

Just what manner
Of fool
Under

The all mighty
Sun has
Nerve enough

To stand there
Telling everone
The things

He's been told
I bet you think
He's bold

But he tells
You just
The same

It was for this
He came
So

It would be wise
Not to sit
And criticize

Take of what
He says
What you can

And then my friend
Just spit out
The rest

Further on
Up the road
There just may

Be a fool
Standing there
Telling everone

The things
He's been told
May that fool

Be YOU

Copyright 2004 Royal Kent

Walkin'

Written By: Royal Kent

Today I was out walkin'
Yes, just out walkin'
I was listenin' to the
People talkin'

Because I knew they
Must have somethin'
To say and they said it

Yes the people said it
So from there I headed
Straight to nowhere

Now when I arrived
Before my very eyes
Was a good friend
Of mine from somewhere

This was a nice surprise
My friend from somewhere
So right there
We began

Talkin' about nothin'
It was all in fun
Of course but it was
Nothin' just the same

Who knows why we
Even came but we came
I believe I forgot
Your name

It was so and so
Oh now I recall but
You know then
Thoughtless thoughts

Were all I could think of
Distorted dreams seemed
All I could dream of

Yet when I matched together
The two of them
I derived the meaning of
The whole meaningless trip

Naturally in further
My sticky hands I dip
But that would never do
Would serve only to tease

Got to turn it upside down
For a sip
My parched tounge
To please

Those of you out there
With eye and ears
Who hears and sees

The word blowing
Through the breeze
Well before it I
Fall upon my knees

With no restrain
For I'll not walk
This walkless walk
In vain

Oh but indeed
Its quite plain
That much of this
Will be pain

Like being run over
By a train
Who blows no whistle

Must I travel
In another lane
For it seems upon
This one it has

Poured and rained
A thousand thorns of
Rose and thistle

And I have yet
The return trip to make
For God's sake

I lay my own down
For in this great wheel
I can only go 'round
As I continue to

Utter the sound of
Talkless talk
I go about this walk
In God's name come I round

Just to hear them tell me
I will be dead long
Before I have found
My true calling

Just the same I keep
Right on walkin'
As I try desperately
To stand

I fall back on
My hands
Taking a step back
Giving up no slack

Just as I feel a smack
Of someone's hand in my face
I see the outline
Of a trace

As I turn the other cheek
Trying not to fake it
"Its alright Ma"
I can make it

Lest for nothin'
I give up
I forsake it
Which would be

A most foolish
And unhealthy thing to do
So I believe I will
Just stick it all

In my shoe
And start
Walkin'

copyright 2004 Royal Kent

Discography

CDs RELEASED:

'Apects' (full-length CD)

'Jah Provide' (trilogy)

'The Fool' (single)

'Later Than You Think' (debut CD)

CDs and individual song downloads available at CDBaby.com/copus and iTunes.

Set List

Copus performs all original compositions. Some of the titles are: Later Than You Think; Haves Have; Journey. A typical set is 50 minutes (approximately 9 songs).