Love. Compassion. Kindness. Joy. Those traits, embedded deep in his being, are what made Beverly Glenn-Copeland a natural fit as a children’s performer, brightening days and warming hearts as a regular on Mr. Dressup for 25 years. And those same traits are what make his music for adults such a singular delight. Blending jazz, folk, classical and African traditions, his songs strive for connection, delivered with a rich vibrato that wraps you up like a warm embrace.
Despite a decades-long career as a songwriter and performer, it’s only recently that adult audiences have returned the affection. His earliest albums, released in the 1970s, bridged his classical vocal training with jazz and folk. Despite earning comparisons to Joni Mitchell (he was still presenting as a woman at the time), those albums went largely unheard. In the ’80s, he self-released a cassette of meditative electronic explorations called Keyboard Fantasies. Innovative as it was, the music again went ignored. Between his television work, film scores, and musical theatre, Glenn-Copeland had no shortage of artistic achievements, but his songwriting remained sadly under appreciated.
Since the turn of the millennium, though, Glenn-Copeland’s musical fortune has finally turned around. A band of young collaborators have given new life to his compositions, while festivals from Sackville, Nova Scotia to Utrecht, Netherlands exposed a new generation of listeners to his heartfelt humanism. Nearly 50 years after his first album, it seems the world is finally ready to return Glenn-Copeland’s embrace.
Biography by Peter Hemminger