Oregon Coast Council for the Arts and the Jazz Committee present a fundraiser to benefit the Oregon Coast Jazz Party featuring Kathy Kosins in “Ladies of Cool” with a backup band from Portland with pianist Randy Porter, bassist John Wiitala and drummer Todd Strait at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
Kosins is a singer, composer, songwriter (words and music), arranger, educator, and painter. She grew up in Detroit’s internationally known jazz and R&B scene. Kosins was initially known as a singer of soul, rock and funk. For the last 15 years however, she has become famous as one of the most successful jazz singers of the contemporary era.
She is known nationally and internationally for her exploration of West Coast Cool with particular emphasis on those extraordinary singers of the 1940s and 1950s. The Ladies of Cool that Kathy pays homage to are Anita O’Day, June Christy, Chris Connor and Julie London.
Kosins’ homage does not attempt to replicate their voices or styles but rather her arrangements stay true to the tradition of lyricism and understatement – the hallmark of the vocal style created by these women. Kosins tells their story through their own songs, words, anecdotes and images.
Anita O’Day, a prominent female jazz singer, jump-started her career in the early 1940s with Gene Krupa’s band, followed by stints with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton before embarking on a solo career.
June Christy’s warm smooth voice followed O’Day into the Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1945. Her style was ultra-cool and sexy. She is best remembered for her interpretations of “Something Cool” and “Midnight Sun.”
Chris Connor sang with bandleader Claude Thornhill and was discovered by June Christy. She worked with Stan Kenton before going off on her own. She recorded over forty records and her signature song was “All About Ronnie.”
Julie London took up with pianist Bobby Troup who groomed her singing career that paralleled and surpassed her acting efforts. Billboard named her Most Popular Female Singer from 1955-1957. She is likely best remembered for her interpretation of the plaintive ballad, “Cry Me A River.”
Kosins's Visual Art
Kosins has maintained a second career, in additional to being a jazz vocalist, as a visual artist, primarily as a painter of abstract original canvases and has enjoyed gallery showings of her works throughout North and South America.
Kosins’s paintings can be viewed on the PAC Lobby during May and the first part of June prior to the concert. Meet Kosins in an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 7 in the PAC Lobby.
Kosins's "Improvisation on Canvas" Art Clinic
Jazz in the abstract. Can you hear color? Can you see music? For critically and nationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Kathy Kosins, it comes naturally. Sponsored by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, Kosins is bringing her “Improvisation on Canvas” clinic to the Newport Visual Arts Center from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 7. A full description of the clinic, supplies and cost is available by calling 541-265-2787 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about: