Beverly Glenn Copeland

Beverly Glenn Copeland

Territory

Amérique du Nord

Beverly Glenn Copeland

Born in Philadelphia in 1944, Glenn (as he likes to be called) grew up in a house where his father practiced piano for five hours a night, making Bach, Chopin and Mozart his ‘cradle music’. He moved to Montreal in 1961 to study classical voice at McGill University. Faced with challenges relating to his race, gender and sexual orientation, he dropped out of university before completing his degree, picked up a guitar and started writing music.

In 1970 Glenn-Copeland recorded two albums. The first, part of CBC’s ‘Transcription Series,’ was titled Beverly Copeland and was a virtuosic showcase of classical and jazz vocal stylings, poetry, jazz and folk, accompanied by some of the best players of the time. Original pressings of that album now fetch thousands of dollars. Six months later Glenn-Copeland made a studio album with many of those same musicians, including the brilliant Lenny Breau, titled Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

It wasn’t until 1986 that Glenn-Copeland recorded again. Inspired by a profound relationship with nature, an obsession with science fiction and some of the earliest drum-machines and synthesisers, Keyboard Fantasies was born. Self-released on cassette, it sold less than 100 copies. In 2016, Keyboard Fantasies was discovered by a revered Japanese record-store owner. Word spread and several re-issues were released. One thing led to another and within a year, he began to tour the world with his new band, Indigo Rising. This summer, Glenn-Copeland will release an album of brand-new music called The Ones Ahead, another high point in a career that has defied categorisation. In the early 1990s, Beverly Glenn-Copeland first heard the term ‘transgender’. Armed with the language to describe the way he had felt all his life, he discovered a self-identity which had previously eluded him.

Glenn’s love for working with children and youth has been a constant throughout his life. He appeared as regular guest ‘Beverly’ on the beloved Canadian children’s TV show Mr. Dress-up for nearly 30 years. He wrote for Sesame Street and Shining Times Station. With his wife, Elizabeth, a theatre artist, poet and artist educator, he has completed more than a dozen artist residencies in schools and community settings in New Brunswick and Ontario. They founded and ran a theatre school during their years in Miramichi, N.B. and together they have written four musical plays that speak to the issues of our times. Today they work together entirely in collaboration.

Glenn lives in Hamilton, Ontario with Elizabeth.

Liens de presse

Pitchfork profile w/ articles + reviews

NPR: Play It Forward, Glenn Copeland on Positivity

The Guardian: The trans musical visionary finding an audience at 74

Wikipedia: Beverly Glenn-Copeland