Royal Kent’s love of poetry goes back to his formative high school years. Originally inspired by the legendary Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron, 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. Kira Njinsky, daughter of the great Russian ballet star Njinksy, said: “Royal Kent recites poetry the way my father danced!”
Composer/pianist Wendy Loomis has released 10 CDs of her compositions for COPUS, acoustic ensemble Phoenix Rising, piano/vocal duo AWE, and solo piano. She won the ASCAP award for composition 4 times and has received awards and nominations for her music from the Unisong International Songwriting competition, the LA Music Awards, and the Hollywood Music and Media Awards. Most recently she performed one of her compositions in Havana, Cuba as part of the cultural exchange led by the American Composers Forum. 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 Rochester, Cincinnati, and Chicago, and has toured Europe and the United States. Currently Monica is a member of several contemporary chamber ensembles in the Bay Area, including Phoenix Rising and COPUS. Additionally, she is the director of Flock of Flutes, East Bay’s première flute choir, and music coordinator for Civic Arts Education, and Center Representative for the Carnegie Hall Music Development Program. She 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 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 2002.
Celebrating the Beats is a free event, and is happening at the Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel
999 California Street (at Mason Street)
San Francisco, CA 94108
MUNI 1 California