“When people ask me when did I start singing, I tell them I came into this world crying and I’ve never stopped.”
Susan Devor Cogan is a Canadian singer-songwriter composing, performing and producing records in English and also in Hebrew. Her music style folk-fusion draws on elements of folk, jazz, blues, and world blending the ancient with the contemporary. Her music can be a door opening into the mystic, unfolding our emotional and spiritual dimensions. “I sing to evoke compassion, awareness, and empowerment in all of us.” An activist, Cogan was arrested in Canada’s largest protest to save the Clayoquat Sound rainforest, She was jailed in a men’s prison along with women protesters ranging in age from 18 to 81 where she led a singing group performing songs of freedom for the inmates. Cogan’s songs “tell stories and demand attention. This isn’t music to turn on and let fade into the wallpaper” writes the St. Johns Telegram. Her voice is described as “graciously sensuous” in Victoria’s Monday Magazine. Rocker Tom Cochrane called her voice “stunning and fresh”. Cogan was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where she began singing with her guitar between sets of her uncle Benny Louis’s Big Band. As a teen and young woman she lived in Jerusalem Israel where she rose to fame in the legendary duo Susan & Fran with evergreen songs like Lilac Nights and The Second Bird. Her song “Hear O Israel” is a plea for peace. Cogan settled on Salt Spring in the Gulf Islands where together with producer Paul Brosseau she created the indie label and recording studio Nomad Music. Many Canadian and international artists recorded there including luminaries like Paul Horn, Randy Bachman, & Miles Black. Among Nomad’s many recordings is the compilation CD “Bears”, a project to protect the habitat of the Spirit Bears of Western Canada,
Cogan’s song “Men in the Service” is featured in the cult hit film “An American Hippie in Israel” with Susan & Fran performing. The duo collaborated with famous Israeli artists like Yisrael Gurion, Benny Amdursky, Mati Caspi, Ehud Manor, Chava Alberstein and Misha Segal. They were regulars on the classic Israeli television series “The Wandering Gypsy” where Cogan sings “Puff the Magic Dragon” in Hebrew!
Over the years Cogan has performed in festivals, theaters, clubs and halls, from intimate venues to stadiums across Canada and Israel and in the U.S. and Europe. Accompanying herself on guitar, keyboard and percussion she will invite her audience to sing with her as she considers singing a radical act of courage and personal empowerment, so important in a culture that largely delegates singing to the experts. Cogan performs most often in small ensembles with long time collaborators Bob Cohen, Jerome Jarvis and other fine players, and also solo. She has opened for such diverse acts as B.B.King and Jose Feliciano. Her background of clowning and theater informs her live show.
NINE GODDESS TALES
Her newest recording project out of 12 is called Nine Goddess Tales. It celebrates the Goddess and re-tells faerie tales tracing the steps of experiences danced through life’s loves and losses, joys and sorrows, the interweaving of the realms of fantasy with earthly concerns. It is a personal and a universal journey. In the live show the Nine Muses are invoked, one for each song.
Graciously Sensuous – Monday Magazine
“Seductively Captivating” – Cosmic Debris
“Her lyrics tell stories and demand attention.–The Telegram.
“Her voice is real stunning and fresh” – Tom Cochrane
“Cogan’s fantastic liquid-clear voice flows throughout, she is an accomplished singer, whose skill alone is worth the proverbial price of admission. The technical skill that both she and her band display is equally impressive and dovetails splendidly and subtly with Cogan’s voice in a manner that many pop musicians aren’t anywhere close to matching.”
January 25, 2001 The Jerusalem Post
Coast to coast comments: Victoria’s Monday Magazine recently described her music as: “Brazil, the Middle East, & our own brand of West Coast Pepper”. Newfoundland’s The Telegram writes: “She weaves thoughts on potent subjects that leave the listener with a buoyant sense of hope and joy.”
A magnetic and charismatic artist, this passionate singer generates excitement from audiences across Canada, the U.S. and in Israel. Susan Cogan is an accomplished entertainer with a kaleidoscope of genres and instruments at her command. She has performed in countless venues over the years, solo and as leader of her various duos, trios and larger bands. Her singing ranges from soft and sultry to passionate and powerful. Her music bridges many styles and defies pigeon holing.
With eight recordings to her credit, Susan has gained international exposure, getting airplay in Israel, France, Italy, the USA, and Canada. In Israel she achieved star status in the duo “Susan & Fran”. Her newest CD release 2001 is called “Mayim”. Her previous album “Gypsy Hill” was released in 1999. In the wings is the upcoming jazz CD “Lady Slipper”.
The dedication of this artist is inspiring. She is passionately involved in many causes — one of which resulted in her being arrested and jailed during the protest against logging old-growth forest in Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound. Susan co-founded Nomad Music — a recording studio and indie record label where she records and which supports the work of many other Canadian artists as well.