All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » John Cooper

John Cooper

John Cooper is a jazz artist and composer who makes his home in Macomb, IL and is Director of Jazz Studies at Western Illinois University. Cooper began his musical career in 1983 in Detroit, Michigan where he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Wayne State University in Jazz Studies. While in Detroit, he performed with the Johnny Trudell Orchestra as well as jazz artists Jon Faddis, Carl Fontana, Jim McNeely, Clark Terry, John Fedchock, David Liebman, Gary Foster, Alan Vizutti, James Moody, J. C. Heard, Duffy Jackson, Chico O'Ferrill, Jiggs Wigham Terry Gibbs, Slide Hampton, Ken Watters, and other national touring acts including Aretha Franklin, The Four Freshmen, The Four Lads, Mitzi Gaynor, Henny Youngman, Lola Falana, Roger Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Jerry Lewis, The Temptations, Rich Little, Joan Rivers, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and Lou Rawls.

Cooper continued his education, obtaining a Master's degree in Music Composition from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he worked as a teaching assistant in Jazz Studies under the supervision of Jazz Studies Director, Jeff Halsey. From Ohio, Cooper moved to New York City to continue studies with jazz artist and composer Jim McNeely at New York University, where he graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Composition in 1996. While in New York, Cooper was a member of the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop and graduated to the Master Composer's group.

Read more


Mark Stryker, music critic from the Detroit Free Press, says “Cooper, a former Wayne State University student who teaches at Western Illinois University, has a firm command of the orchestra, solid ideas and a fine band stocked with Chicagoans and Detroiters.”

Kevan Breitinger from Christian Music Central says “...I love jazz and couldn’t get enough of this intelligent composition.” and ...”An emotive piano opens standout track “Communion (And Now You’re Gone)” before moving into fuller instrumentation. Thick horns lay down an evocative foundation which builds slowly into a warm crescendo of expressive awe.”

Marie Asner from the Phantom Tollbooth says ...”This music is for everyone and all denominations, plus anyone who appreciates jazz

Read more

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


BM Jazz Studies and Teacher Certification from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI MM Composition Bowling Green State University Ph. D. Composition New York University 7 years teaching experience in jazz studies Northern Michigan University 6 years teaching experience in jazz studies Western Illinois University Contact for rates and availability: [email protected]

Clinic/Workshop Information

Clinics in: Composition Trumpet Jazz Improvisation Jazz Pedagogy Jazz History


Album The Baecker Jazz Worship Service by John Cooper

The Baecker Jazz...

Baecker Music Productions

Album Baecker Jazz Worship Service by John Cooper

Baecker Jazz Worship...

Baecker Music Productions

Communion: And Now You're Gone (radio edit)

Communion: And Now You're Gone (radio edit)

John Cooper
The Baecker Jazz Worship Service


Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
Joe Pass Joe Pass
Scott Hamilton Scott Hamilton
saxophone, tenor
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Clark Terry Clark Terry
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
Eddie Harris Eddie Harris
saxophone, tenor
Sadao Watanabe Sadao Watanabe
saxophone, alto
Jon Faddis Jon Faddis

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.