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.
While his attention was focused on piano performance in New York clubs and touring abroad, Cooper-Moore began designing and building musical instruments and played them in collaboration with all kinds of artist at lofts, galleries, artist spaces, museums, and in the streets of New York City.
He has over the years built an extensive instrument collection, using such material as paper, bamboo, metal, wood, and acrylic. He most often performs with his ashimba (a type of xylophone), bass diddly-bow, horizontal hoe-handle harp, three stringed fretless banjo, and electric mouth bow. His instruments have been exhibited at the Thread Waxing Gallery, NYC, and The Goddard Riverside Community Center, NYC.