Born: June 6, 1971 Primary Instrument: Piano
Born June 6, 1971, Ryan Cohan, was introduced to music very early in life by his mother, who was a music teacher as well as a classical pianist and guitarist. Although, he began reading music by age five, his formal training began at age nine on the violin. A few years later he switched to the keyboard, and by his second year in high school, Ryan knew that he wanted a life dedicated to music and began an intense daily practice regimen at the piano.
Wanting to deepen his jazz piano training led Ryan to DePaul University where he received his bachelor's of music degree in jazz performance in 1993. At DePaul, Ryan studied extensively with pianist Larry Novak and performed and recorded with the University's award winning Jazz Ensemble I. During two summer breaks between quarters at college, Ryan received full scholarships from Blue Note Records to study at a jazz institute at Skidmore College in New York, whose faculty included the late legend, Milt Hinton. After his collegiate training, Ryan was mentored further by his former DePaul professor, Cliff Colnot, on arranging concepts and techniques as well as by master jazz improvisation pedagogue, David Bloom.
Currently based in Chicago, IL, Ryan maintains a busy schedule as an in demand sideman and composer and has worked with master jazz artists such as: Freddie Hubbard, Regina Carter, Joe La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Curtis Fuller, Jon Faddis, Kurt Elling, Nick Brignola, Michal Urbaniak, and Kent Jordan among others. Ryan's diverse resume also includes a substantial list of commercial studio performing credits for such clients as: Sears, Nissan, Toyota, Budweiser, and Oprah Winfrey, a guest artist appearance in 1999 with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the 2001 music director position with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. As an educator, Ryan has been on the faculty of the New York Summer School Of The Arts program (1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2004) and an accompanist and instructor at the Bloom School Of Jazz (1997-2000). Ryan has also worked independently as a clinician as well as representing the Urban Gateways and MusicAlive! programs playing for and working with students both locally and nationally (1991-present). In 2000, The Illinois Arts Council awarded Ryan an artist's fellowship grant for his work as a composer.