Scott + Holly = Musical Magic in Oysterville

Jan 14, 2019 | 0 comments

Holly Reeves and Scott Cossu in Oysterville

Scott Cossu is known as “the grandfather of New Age Music.”  Holly Reeves is the principal cellist with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.  Playing together they are pure magic, or so was the collective opinion of their Oysterville House Concert audience last evening.

Their program was eclectic to say the least and, though I am no music expert – not by a long shot – I think it transcended the “New Age” category by centuries.  Literally.  As Scott said at the conclusion of the concert, “When else have you heard pieces from the 13th  century, Jelly Roll Morton, and the Beatles all in the same program?”  Plus, of course, many of Scott’s own compositions and arrangements.

Scott was one of the first artists with Windham Hill records, widely recognized as ‘the’ New Age record label from its inception in 1976, though their artists often came from classical, jazz, folk, or bluegrass backgrounds.  Scott was no exception.  He was trained classically but, through a series of fortuitous circumstances, widened his horizons dramatically while he was still in college in the early 1970s.

First and foremost, he credits Hamza el Din, a teacher at the University of Ohio who offered a course in the music of Africa.  Hamza recommended that Scott should travel “out west” to study Ethnomusicology (World Music) at the University of Washington.  Upon hearing that Scott had studied with Hamza, he was accepted immediately and his out of state tuition was waived. Scott spent the next two years learning the music of Thailand, Sudan, Korea, China, Romania and Ecuador. Scott remained friends with Hamza until Hamza’s death, in 2006.  And… the rest is history, as they say.

This was the third House Concert (or the fourth?) Scott has done here but it was the first time Holly Reeves had accompanied him.  What a perfect combination!  Holly, also, classically trained has toured extensively, performing in Canada, Costa Rica, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Japan, and most recently, Italy. She is also a long-time member of the Tacoma based chamber orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta and maintains a busy private studio.

Scott delights in saying they met last May lifting weights at the gym.  We (and thirty of our friends and neighbors) are delighted that they did!


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