Local jazz artist brings voice to Varner Hall

Oakland County resident Kathy Kosin’s jazz voice is world-renowned.

She will perform at Varner Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets, available at Varner Box Office, are $7 for students and $11 for general admission.

Kosins, who received the 2001 Michigan Council of the Arts/ArtServe Michigan Jazz Composers Award, will also be teaching a master class at noon Thursday in Varner Hall Room 110.

“Some OU students volunteered to perform for her and she’ll be offering her expertise,” Miles Brown, visiting assistant professor of music and jazz program coordinator, said.

Kosins, who’s been a professional working musician for 36 years, never received classical training, instead learning the craft by playing with working musicians. She got her start singing and arranging for producer Don Was.

“I’m not influenced by anything other than having my training be on the street,” Kosins said.

Looking back, she said she might have benefitted from formal training, but likes the motivation provided by “the necessity of making a mortgage payment and putting food on the table.”

“It’s made me be a total entrepreneur,” Kosins said.

Brown echoed that jazz is often best learned not in a classroom, but through real life experience.

“Students sometimes miss the real world training,” Brown said.

Kosins’ fifth album is expected to be released in the fall. It will feature songs from her concept tour, “The Ladies of Cool,” based on the works of ’50s female jazz singers Julie London, Anita O’Day, June Christy and Chris Connor. She will perform some of those songs Thursday, as well as a few songs with the OU jazz band.

For more information about Kosins, visit www.kathykosins.com