Pianist Scott Cossu’s World of Music

Posted June 27th, 2013 at 9:36 pm (UTC+0)
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By Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC

Pohick Bay Park, Virginia (photo: D. Bekheet)

Pohick Bay Park, Virginia (photo: D. Bekheet)

I went  to a picnic recently at a park in Virginia. It was a lovely day, with giant trees framing views of the Potomac river. That verdant setting  reminded me of a disc I hadn’t listened to for a while — “Emerald Pathways,” a 2002 jazz album by American pianist and composer Scott Cossu.

Cossu is getting ready to release a new album this fall called “Lullaby.”  “It’s going to be featuring several pieces from my past Windham Hill recordings that are unavailable now because Windham Hill was bought by RCA,” Cossu tells VOA’s Jazz Beat.

“Lullaby” will also showcase five new tunes by the prolific New Age jazz pianist, who in the mid-1970s developed a strong passion for world music.

Scott Cossu

Scott Cossu (photo: Tor Clausen)

Cossu studied music at Ohio University. There, he met music teacher Hamza El Din, a renowned Egyptian musician. Hamza, who was best known for his oud-playing, changed Cossu’s direction, and became the biggest influence on his music career.

“I have been juggling many different music of worlds for close to 40 years now because of Hamza El Din,” said Cossu.

[audio:http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/english/2013_06/JazzBeat_Scott_Cossu_diaa_bekheet_june2013.mp3]”Because of his [Hamza El Din’s] influence, I became a much more prolific composer, realizing and opening my mind up to how to be able to absorb many cultural influences mixed with my own.” Cossu said.

More Jazz Beat here

In the mid-1990s, I profiled Scott Cossu on my Jazz Club USA on VOA Arabic. Here’s the show.


Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site, VOAnews.com.

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