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San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1999
Band Spoken Word Jazz





by Colin McKay

COPUS: This San Francisco-based group talks about their "Millennium Music"

What is COPUS? Who is COPUS?

Well, let me tell you. COPUS (C is for century and Opus, a musical or literary work of magnitude) is the brainchild of Royal Kent, poet and spoken word artist and Wendy Loomis, pianist, composer and musical director. Together they have created what they have dubbed "Millennium Music" by combining the musical and literary arts in a brave new way.

In speaking with Royal and Wendy, from San Francisco, I learned what their music and vision means to them and how they go about it in the day to day.

World Rhythm: Is the melding of different genres your main concept of "millennium music"?

Wendy: We combine spoken word with jazz and classical leanings and percussive grooves. COPUS is an anagram for Creators of Peace Under the Stars. It is all about a positive view and mindset.

WR: Does COPUS always perform as a set ensemble or is it more of a collective?

Royal: There are usually 6 people, with instruments such as flute, cello and percussion, however, it is based around Wendy and myself and our vision of the group.

WR: Royal, what was your introduction to poetry? Was it through a scholarly fashion or more street?

Royal: I would say both. Mainly, I was always attracted to the rhythm and delivery of people speaking. The multitude of ways to express. To me actually presenting the work in an oratorical manner is very different from pen and paper: More spontaneous, dynamic and in the moment!

WR: What does Poetry and music mean to you and how do you see it helping or nourishing the world?

Royal: When done well the combination of strong, beautiful poetry and music has always been very powerful - Ira and George Gershwin, Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein. The words give textural shapes and colors to the music and vice versa – a symbiotic relationship is created. One audience member told us after a COPUS performance that our words and music “fit together like a hand in a glove”. The sophistication of our words and music stimulates thoughts, dreams, and aspirations, while simultaneously entertaining the listener. I think that people today around the world are very much in need of this kind of liquid beauty – pointing the way away from the violence, economic struggles, and political conniving and toward the heavens above, toward our higher selves.

WR: What are some of the ways you promote COPUS?

Wendy: We advertise in the traditional manner with Weeklies and posters for our live performances and recordings. But the Internet has been great for us as well. We recently celebrated our one-year anniversary of "Poets and Composers", a monthly Internet radio special with Artist First. They have listenership of 250,000 24/7 and our show has been a big hit with listeners all over the word! Plus it links to our website. It broadcasts every second Friday of the month at 11 PM at

WR: Your label and your radio show; in your opinion what’s going to make it unique and how will it help the up and coming artist?

Royal: COPUS Music as an independent label brings together great living, contemporary poets and composers to form a label of excellence, style, and sophistication. We are committed to release new content of “rhythm and words” which is rap without violence, hip-hop with a degree, jazz with lyrics, classical with a beat. For the up and coming independent artist, it is an opportunity to promote not only his/her creations, but also through the interview provides an opportunity for the audience to get to know the artist a little bit personally. This generates interest, attracts listeners to websites, sells CDs, and simultaneously encourages other young artists of talent to pursue their dreams.

WR: The COPUS anagram that you mentioned how does that philosophy come to life?

Wendy: In addition to our positive music and collective group mentality we are involved in a variety of educational and cultural programs in the Bay area. We work with the McCaully Institute, a non-profit center that works with at-risk-teens, exposing them to music. Expression is a very powerful and useful thing. We have done workshops with seniors groups using rhythm and dance. It is all just part of our creative philosophy!

WR: That's great! I thank for you taking the time out to talk about what it is you do.

R & W: It has been our pleasure.

Check out for more about the group and tune in to for the radio show. - World Rhythm Magazine

"COPUS - Later Than You Think"

by Michael Allison

Copus is a musical group with some of the most talented musicians that I have yet come across. The music is a mixture of Spoken Word, jazz, a touch of blues and a hint of classical styles. This music is a little difficult to compare to anyone else because I have never really heard anyone like this group. The jazz styles are very complex and the music that is created is absolutely masterful. These compositions are amazing with just the music, but then you get the added pleasure of the smooth spoken word vocal styles of Royal Kent. His poetic onslaught of powerful lyrics are mind boggling, to say the least. His silky smooth voice holds a tight grip on the listener's ear and keeps them in a state of mind numbing ecstasy.

The musical virtuosity of the members in this group is absolutely amazing. Having this much talent in one band should be a crime. The music develops into a sort of scenic painting in your mind as it is played. The warmth and soul of the musicians is almost seamlessly produced throughout the entire album. This is musicianship and songwriting at its best. I don't have to tell you how impressed I am at the talent and musical excellence that is portrayed here. This is new music for the new millennium. I also recommend this be one of the first choices for Spoken Word Album of the Year.

Personal Notes:

I never considered myself a fan of spoken word styles of jazz. Although I have always been a jazz fan, the spoken word aspect was never one of my favorites. This band has definitely changed that perspective. I was surprised at how much I liked this music. There is something about it that makes me want to hear it more. I'm not sure if it's the music or the lyrics or the vocals. I only know that it's there and it is definitely alluring. It is my belief that this music could be legendary if given the opportunity to thrive. I've heard the buzz about this style, but never thought much of it until I heard the music. Now you need to hear it, whoever YOU are. The worst that could happen is that you broaden your horizons and find yourself really loving a style of music that you might not have known about before. If you are already one of those who like the spoken word style, then this is a group well worth checking out. This is one band that I am really happy to have as a part of my music community. -

"From San Francisco group COPUS ..."

by Tom Kidd

From San Francisco group COPUS comes one of the most intriguing, challenging, and ultimately satisfying albums of the year. The core of the group is composer, musical director and co-producer Wendy Loomis and Royal Kent, poet and co-producer. Together, they produce music that is part jazz, part classical, cerebral and sexy. Think of Copus as the love child of Jack Kerouac and Grace Jones.

For more details contact Loomis at Copus Music, LLC - 415-289-2097. - Music Connection Magazine

"After meeting at an open mic ..."

by Cheryl Eddy

After meeting at an open mic event six years ago, poet Royal Kent and composer Wendy Loomis pooled their talents and formed Copus, a group that fuses spoken word with the members' own brand of millennium music (a mix of classical, world, blues, jazz, and other genres). This freethinking approach to the creative process makes Copus - now a full-fledged band with flute, drums, stand up bass, and other instruments - perfect as host of 'Language: The Journey to World Peace'." - San Francisco Bay Guardian



'Apects' (full-length CD)

'Jah Provide' (trilogy)

'The Fool' (single)

'Later Than You Think' (debut CD)

CDs and individual song downloads available at and iTunes.



COPUS is a world beat ensemble that presents conscious lyrics and beautiful melodies for the intelligent listener. Formed by renowned poet Royal Kent and ASCAP award-winning composer Wendy Loomis, the group has performed at clubs, theaters, and festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Western Massachusetts, and most recently New Orleans at the Cutting Edge Festival.  In November 2015 track “Haves & Have Nots” was nominated for best jazz song by the Hollywood Music and Media Awards.  The group has released “COPUS to the World” music video, full-length CDs “Aspects” and “Later Than You Think”,; single ‘The Fool”; and trilogy “Jah Provide. “COPUS could become legendary if given the opportunity to thrive!” -Michael Allison,

ROYAL KENT’s love of poetry goes back several decades.  Originally inspired by the legendary Last Poets, he has performed with dancers, theatrical troupes, poets, and many bands including the Vancouver-based Band of Angels and Czech Republic-based Pseudo Pseudo.  He has produced television, radio and stage shows, and is the co-founder of independent label Copus Music.  As poet MC he has opened major reggae concerts for Peter Tosh, Toots & the Maytals, and The Wailers.  Kira Njinsky, daughter of the great Russian ballet star Njinksy, said: “Royal Kent recites poetry the way my grandfather danced!”

Composer/pianist WENDY LOOMIS has released 14 CDs of her compositions for COPUS, acoustic ensemble Phoenix Rising, as well as solo piano works.  She won the ASCAPlus award for composition four times, was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting competition, has had her commissioned works performed by flute ensembles, and is currently writing music for film.   Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts and her master’s degree in Arts Education.  She is the co-founder and president of Copus Music LLC and teaches private piano at her San Francisco studio.

Flutist MONICA WILLIAMS is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and has studied with several esteemed flutists such as Bonita Boyd, Susan Levitin, and Brad Garner.  She has performed with orchestras in Chicago, Rochester, and Cincinnati and has toured Europe and the United States. In addition to COPUS, Monica is a member of Phoenix Rising with Wendy; their 2 CDs, ‘Whispers’ and ‘Ascension’ , have been receiving critical acclaim including the latter being nominated for ‘best acoustic album of the year’.  Phoenix Rising is currently working on their third CD 'Mystic Places' that will be released in November 2013.  Monica is the director of Flock of Flutes and teaches private flute at Civic Arts Center of Walnut Creek and her home studio in San Francisco.

Bassist PATRICK MAHON was born and raised in San Francisco.  Patrick studied jazz with Tony P. Miller, but he is primarily self-taught – giving him a creative facility and an eager ear for new ways of expression, including most recently using an unusual bowing technique on the electric bass.  He joined COPUS in 2007, played on the ‘Jah Provide’ trilogy, and has performed at many Bay Area gigs as well as at the Sweet Auburn Springfest in Atlanta.  His influences include Charles Mingus, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, and Les Claypool.  In addition to COPUS, Patrick has performed with bands Scaramanga, The Ambassadors, and Electric Color Wheel.  

Drummer GREG McRAY is Drummer Greg McRay was fortunate to grow up in a musical family. His father, saxophonist Robert McRay, played the jazz circuit both in the U.S. and Europe. Greg has studied with Benny Green, Jim Smith, and Tony Williams and performed with many California-based jazz, fusion, and rock bands.  Drawing on the powerful musicianship of Art Blakey, Max Roach, Bill Bruford, and Billy Cobham, Greg brought his creative drum playing to Copus in the summer of 2002.

Band Members