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Susan Osborn: Bio and Discography


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, Rosewater and Red Willow Band. Her startlingly remarkable voice -- powerful and rich with emotional expression -- came to world prominence when she was the lead singer of 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 26 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 three CDs with Japanese pianist Kentaro Kihara, “Only One”, “Wonderful World” and Nagomi Oto”. Now an independant artist, Susan is working on another CD of original songs, to follow her “ReUnion” release,  tentatively called “ The River”. 


Stylistically, Osborn's approach spans original songs, to classical favorites to the freewheeling scat 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 22 year Orcas Island tradition. 


The mosaic of artists who have inspired her life includes Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, 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 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 35 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 is a gift intricately woven into the human design." shares Osborn. "I am privileged to be there when people remember it."


Much of her creative life is now involved in 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”. 


“ 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”




Discography 

 

•1978 Common Ground 

Featured Vocalist with the Paul Winter Consort 

Living Music Recordings

 

•1979 You Gotta Believe 

Original Songs 

Golden Throat Recordings

 

•1981 Missa Gaia; A Mass for the Earth 

Featured Vocalist with the Paul Winter Consort 

Living Music Recordings

 

•1983 A Concert For the Earth; Live at the UN Featured Vocalist with the Paul Winter Consort Living Music Recordings

 

•1983 Signature 

Features “Sound Over All Waters” by Paul Halley, and John Lennon's “Imagine” 

Golden Throat Recordings

 

•1986 Susan (Out of Print) 

Living Music Recordings

 

•1991 Journey Live 

with pianist Phil Markowitz in the Cathedral St. John the Divine 

Golden Throat Recordings

 

•1991 WABI; the Soul of Japan 

Winner of Recordo Taisho in Japan 

( Not available in US) 

NEC Recordings Japan

 

•1992 Entrance

 with Guitarist Ralf Illenberger Improvisations Golden Throat Recordings 

 

•1993 Soleil/ Ralf Illenberger

Guest soloist

 

•1993 Sabi; the Western Heart 

( Not available in US) 

Sony Japan

 

•1995 All Through the Night/A Christmas Lullaby

with keyboardist Brian BecVar  

Golden Throat Recordings

 

•1996 The Pearl 

Traditional Japanese Songs in English 

Pony Canyon International Japan 

and Golden Throat Recordings

 

•1998 Susan Osborn Sings Disney 

( Not available in US) 

Pony Canyon International and Disney Japan

 

•2000 ReUnion 

All original songs with Bill Lauf, Ralf Illenberger and Jim Bredouw 

Golden Throat Recordings

 

•2001 Still Life 

Classical melodies with new lyrics by Susan, and husband writer David Densmore 

Pony Canyon International Japan

 and Golden Throat Recordings

 

•2002 Tideline 

Volume II of favorite classical melodies 

Pony Canyon International 

and Golden Throat Recordings

 

•2004 A Thousand Winds 

The Best of Susan Osborn...in Japan 

( Not available in US) 

Pony Canyon International

 

•2006 Only One...Love Songs for Two 

with Pianist Kentaro Kihara 

Features classic love songs from the 60's on Alfie, Close To You, In My Life and Moon River

Pony Canyon International 

and Golden Throat Recordings

 

•2007 Wonderful World/ (Sakura in Japan) 

with Piano Kentaro Kihara, Strings and woodwinds, Martin Lund, and Bass, Gene Nery. 

Pony Canyon International 

and Golden Throat Recordings

 

•2009 Nagomi Oto 

with pianist Kentaro Kihara, double reeds, Nancy Rumbel, guitar, Gene Nery, and clarinet, Martin Lund

Pony Canyon International

and Golden Throat Recordings


2010 Kakehashi

with pianist Kentaro Kihara

Golden Throat Recordings