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Symeon Cosburn

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Biography of Symeon Cosburn

Symeon Cosburn is one of the major young male jazz singing & song writing talents in London at this time. Influences include Mel Tormé, Chet Baker, Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae and of course Ella Fitzgerald; in addition to UK based artists such as Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw & Claire Martin.

Symeons own brand of jazz is a mixture of swing and groove to lesser-known standards, modern classics & his own originals. Coupled with his improvisation and effortless ability to swing, he loves rhythmically manipulating the songs of his repertoire whether it be his own compositions or those of the great songwriters of yesteryear.

Symeons artistic personality led him into a few varied jobs before becoming a jazz singer, which included freelance graphic design. He spent his free time training himself as a dancer from around the age of 19, and then a little later as a singer, which led him on to seasonal cabaret work abroad – the jazz was to come much later.

He started writing his own material around 1997 (although these were mainly pop based songs), it wasn’t until 2000 when he was performing in Europe that he started to alter the style of the songs that he wrote, into the style of music that he listened to – jazz and swing.

Due to the terminal illness of his mother, he returned home to London to help nurse her and found some occasional cabaret work around town. Luckily, Symeon was spotted by Darren Crowdy (Ian Shaw’s manager) who, by chance, received Symeon's demo CD in the post the following day. This lead to a meeting with Ian and his first introduction to London’s ‘jazz-scene’ and the many and varied artists within it. A huge learning curve followed for Symeon, whilst he learnt to ‘open-out’ the songs and improvise with the music. Being able to tap dance certainly helped with the rhythmic manipulations found in jazz music!

Since then, he has worked with many respected UK jazz musicians such as James Pearson, Jim Watson, Tim Lapthorn & Dave O'Higgins to name a few, including a guest spot with the great Mark Murphy in 2005. Symeon has now formed his own trio which includes his pianist, songwriter and musical director Janette Mason (who has just released her own album Din & Tonic), along with well-known bassist Simon Little and top drummer Dave Ohm.

In addition to the jazz, he was asked to write the musical score for a play by The Pleasance theatre which opened at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002 called ‘Who’s Harry?’, which won the Festival First Award and transferred to London.

Most recently, Symeon has completed his debut album Breakfast With The Blues under the direction of his mentor Ian Shaw, which includes 4 of his own songs and some great arrangements on some lesser known standards and modern classics.

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