Jim Cooper Trio/Quartet/Quintet
Artist's BiographyVibraphonist, composer and educator, Jim Cooper (B.A., M.M.) has played vibes for over 30 years, leading numerous groups, appearing as both soloist and sideman. Originally from Chicago, Jim played piano and drums as a teenager and started playing the vibes during his early years a college student.
Cooper was a major figure on the Chicago jazz scene in the 1980s, and 90s, with pianist/composer Bob Dogan. The Jim Cooper/Bob Dogan Quintet performed in many clubs, concerts and festivals including The Green Mill, Andyï¿½s, The Jazz Showcase, the Chicago Jazz Fair, WBEZ-FMï¿½s ï¿½Windy City Jazzï¿½ Series and The Chicago Jazz Festival. Jim was also an original member of the Chicago Coalition Jazz Septet.
As a Delmark Recording Artist in the early 1990s, Cooper gained recognition with his two CDs, Tough Town and Nutville. Both feature the legendary Ira Sullivan and both received favorable reviews from both Downbeat and Jazz Times magazines.
After completing his Masters Degree in 1996, Jim was offered a three-month teaching position in Taiwan. Upon his return, he moved to West Michigan and discovered many performing and teaching opportunities. Since his move, heï¿½s performed at The Firefly, The Lansing, Suttonï¿½s Bay, Allegan and Idlewild Jazz Festivals, and Bakerï¿½s Keyboard Lounge, one of the oldest jazz clubs in the country.
From 1996 Jim co-founded Lakeshore Jazz Connection, Inc., a non-profit organization that sponsors jazz concerts and workshops. He then became its Artistic Director in 1999 until its demise in 2009.
Jim has had teaching experience at Lake Michigan College, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College and Central Michigan University.
In 2003, Jim and his wife Gini founded Jazmyn Records and released Itchin\' To Groove, which showcases Cooperï¿½s compositions as well. All
three of Jimï¿½s CDs are available at www.cdbaby.com.
During Jimï¿½s career he has performed with Barrett Deems, Billy Brimfield, Wilbur Campbell, Gene Esposito, Jodie Christian, Bob Dogan, Art Van Damme, Paulinho Garcia, Harry Goldson, Jeff Haas, Paul Keller, Ira Sullivan, and The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra among others. He has performed at the Suttonï¿½s Bay, Idlewild, Thornapple and Lansing Jazz Festivals. Though not exactly a household name, Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune wrote ï¿½...he played with a degree of subtlety and craft one does not often encounter in the work of performers far better known than he.ï¿½ His latest project, The Cooper, Hay, Van Lente Group has released their first CD, Trio Musik, on Big O records. Trio Musik features Cooper on vibes and marimba, Dave Hay on keyboards and Mike Van Lente on drums.