Cooper-Moore is a composer-improviser, instrumentalist, designer and builder of musical instruments, and music educator, living and working in New York City. A native of the Piedmont area of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Cooper-Moore began studying piano at age eight. Four years later, he was listening to the musics of Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, and working on improvisation.
He earned a B.A. in Music Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and later studied composition-arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Moving to New York in 1973, Cooper-Moore leased the five-floor 501 Canal Street building and transformed it into an artist live-in/work space, making possible numerous experimentations between performing and visual artists.