Born Hamid Mottaghinejad in 1959 in Tehran, Iran, Hamid discovered a love for Jazz at an early age by listening to his father’s collection of Afro-Cuban inspired Jazz records. As a teen, Hamid was taught to play the drums (Persian and Congas) by his father, an accomplished percussionist. In his early twenties he moved to Denmark, Scandinavia where he continued exploration of the arts. A gifted artist, Hamid’s insightful paintings, sold in prominent galleries throughout Denmark. He also attended the Occupational University Copenhagen and studied Kinesiology and Physical Therapy.
In 1998 Hamid relocated to the U.S. to pursue a life-long dream of playing in a live Jazz band. In addition to landing several engagements at high-profile events and festivals, he also taught percussion at the Music & Art World Academy in Los Angeles. Soon after moving to the U.S., he settled in southern California, where he enjoys sharing his love for music and the arts. He was often called “Mr. Cooper” by fellow musicians because of his love and admiration for the legendary actor, Gary Cooper. And thus, Hamid Cooper was born.
In 2007 he formed Hamid Cooper Latin Jazz (HCLJ). Based in Southern California, the 5-7 member band is comprised of talented international musicians playing a range of instruments from wind to percussion. A typical performance includes: Leader and percussionist, Cooper on congas, etc.; jazzer Artis Ford on keyboards; Doug White on bass; Bill Mason on trumpet; Marco Perez on timbales; Bill James on saxophone & flute; and on occasion, an additional wind player