About Susan Osborn:
For over 40 years, singer and songwriter Susan Osborn has held the high ground of vocal artistry. Susan began her career in the early 70's singing in several bands in South Dakota, Blueberry Buckle, Garden, Rosewater and Red Willow Band. Her startlingly remarkable voice -- powerful and rich with emotional expression -- came to world prominence when she was the lead vocalist with the Paul Winter Consort between 1978 and 1985, shining on such albums as "Common Ground", "Missa Gaia." and "Concert For the Earth". Osborn's voice has such power and soulful presence that she's performed at the United Nations, the Berlin Wall, the Nagano Winter Olympics, the Global Forum in Kyoto and the Hague, and numerous memorial and peace ceremonies at Hiroshima and Post-9/11 New York.
For the past 30 years, Osborn and her husband, artist/writer David Densmore, have lived on Orcas Island, WA. Here, the serenity and silence of nature colored the creation of numerous original songs, while the synergy of the island's vital artistic community inspired Osborn to refine her voice to even greater heights.
Osborn has performed all over the US and Europe, but 1991 saw the beginning of a long association with Japan, where her voice has been heard on Toyota commercials and film soundtracks, on a two hour HDTV Special on her life for Asahi Television, at the Winter Olympics, in a stage musical Tanuki Goten directed by Amon Miamoto, and New Year's Eve concerts with both Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, and John Mauceri's Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Her songs are also featured in several of Jin Tatsumura’s feature length Gaia Symphony films.
Releasing 13 CDs on Japan's prestigious Pony Canyon label, Osborn's recordings express themes ranging from Japanese folk melodies with English lyrics, “Wabi”, “The Pearl” and “Nagomi Oto” to Disney movie theme classics on the “Disney” CD. "Still Life" and "Tideline," both feature Western classical melodies with English lyrics written by Susan and her husband poet David Densmore. Susan has recorded four CDs with Japanese pianist Kentaro Kihara, “Only One”, “Wonderful World”, Nagomi Oto”and "Kakehashi". Now an independant artist, Susan has just completed her 4th compilation of original songs, "Hummingbird".
Stylistically, Osborn's approach spans original songs, to classical favorites to the freewheeling improvisations she records with jazz guitarist Ralf Illenberger, to traditional Japanese folk songs. She brings refreshing inspiration to pop and jazz standards and her annual candlelit Victorian Valley Chapel Christmas concert series is an established 30 year Orcas Island tradition.
The mosaic of artists who she has performed with and have inspired her life includes Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, drummer Steve Gadd, folk legend Odetta, singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams, Miles Davis keyboardist Robert Irving, Broadway star Betty Buckley, New York Pops maestro Skitch Henderson, the guitar/vocal duo Tuck & Patti, pianist/composer Paul Halley, Native American flutist Gary Stroutsos, double reed and ocarina, Nancy Rumbel, African master drummer Baba Olatunji, saxophonist Paul Winter, Brazilian maestro Oscar Castro -Neves, guitarists, Ralf Illenberger and Bill Lauf, pianists Paul Halley, Kentaro Kihara, Wing Wong Tsan, and Phil Marcowitz .
Though Osborn's extraordinary voice is indeed unique, she openly shares her soulful approach through her Silence & Song seminars. For over 40 years, Susan has been exploring the power of the human voice in song with people all over the world. Silence and Song classes have been presented in 10 countries, and Susan has been on the teaching staff at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur California, the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, the Omega Institute, in Rheinbeck NY, the New York Open Center in New York City, Suirin Retreat Center in Nagano, Japan, Hollyhock Learning Center, Cortes, BC, and the Whidbey Institute in Clinton Washington. "Singing, before concerns about pitch and rhythm, is a gift intricately woven into the human design." shares Osborn. "I am privileged to be there when people remember it."
As a visual artist, Susan has deeply explored photography of flowers inspired by the work of her old friend and mentor, Harold Feinstein. Her book “SAKURA NO KIGA OSHEE ETTE KURETA", Lessons of the Sakura Tree, published by SunMark Publishers in Japan, is the story of her special encounter with a cherry tree blossoming out of season and photographs taken over those 6 months of cherry blossoms. She has followed the photography work into printing on Japanese paper and sewing the images together, in hangings reminicent of garments. Her latest show of this work is called "Rain•ment”. Susan is also a jeweler working in copper and silver. Her work is featured at the newly renovated Orcas Island Artworks as a member of the cooperative.
“ Music and song are a bridge between...heaven and earth, body and soul, people and the rest of nature and each other, I feel privileged to have lived a life in music”