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World musician Scott Cossu to perform at 2013 Mill Creek Festival

Pianist Scott Cossu will play with drummer Steve Banks and multi instrumentalist (flute, bass flute, saxophone and harmonica) John Croarkin on the Main Stage at this year’s Mill Creek Festival.
Scott Cossu will start the entertainment on Saturday, July 13 at 11:30 a.m. from the Festival’s Main Stage. He will be joined by drummer Steve Banks and multi-instrumentalist John Croarkin. Photo credit:Scott Cossu.

By Elizabeth Griffin

Pianist Scott Cossu will play with drummer Steve Banks and multi instrumentalist (flute, bass flute, saxophone and harmonica) John Croarkin on the Main Stage at this year’s Mill Creek Festival.

The trio will play original compositions from Cossu’s latest album “Jazz & Blues,” which was recorded about a year ago. The music is energetic, according to Cossu, and if you haven’t ever heard the bass flute, he promises some nice selections that feature it. “I was pigeon-holed as a New Age musician, but this really kicks,” Cossu said. Given the scope of his nearly 40-year career as a composer, teacher and performer, it would be unfortunate for those who appreciate an array of musical styles to pigeon-hole Cossu.

From the age of 11, when his parents brought home a piano so his sisters would learn how to play, he has been passionate about music. Turning down a scholarship for swimming, he instead studied music at Ohio University. In Ohio, Cossu met Hamza, a man considered to be the father of modern Nubian music in northern Sudan. Hamza encouraged him to travel out west to study Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington and Cossu followed his advice, spending two years learning the music of Thailand, Sudan, Korea, China, Romania and Ecuador.

After earning his undergraduate degree, Cossu went on a three month research trip to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador where he recorded villagers playing ancient music. The result of his studies was blending World Music with his jazz and classical background into a unique style.

While at the University of Washington, Cossu met producers from Windham Hill (WH) and became one of the first artists to record with the label that also brought us George Winston and Alex de Grassi. He worked with WH for 19 years.

At the top of his game and about to start a 40-city tour, Cossu was hit by a car in Los Angeles and suffered a traumatic brain injury around 1990. It took months of hospitalization, several more months of intensive rehabilitation, and another couple of years for him to overcome memory loss, including the loss of many of his compositions. But, with much love and support from family, friends and fans, Cossu amazed his neurologist with a miraculous recovery.

Eighteen months after the accident, he began writing new music and collaborating on a nature video of Mt. Rainier with the acclaimed producer, Peter Roberts. Not long after, he was touring Spain, Alaska and Hawaii.

When Cossu isn’t performing or in the studio, he keeps busy with projects that include television advertisements, film documentaries and nature videos. He has worked with award winning photographer, Art Wolfe, as well as environmental artist, Christo. This summer, Cossu is working on a recording of the often-asked-for work that he created with WH.

Cossu is considered one of the grandfathers of the New Age scene, but Billboard Magazine called him a “jazz luminary of the future.” Influences of jazz, Latin, ethnic, New Age and classical can be heard

in his compositions and piano performances, promptings some to say that his music is not easy to catagorize. Maybe it shouldn’t be. Some things are just meant to be enjoyed. For more information, visit www. scottcossu.com.

This article has been reprinted with permission from GA Publications NW.

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