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Jack Cooper

Jack Cooper is an American jazz composer, arranger, orchestrator, multireedist, and music educator. Most notably he has written music for well-known and Grammy winning pop, jazz, and classical artists to include Aaron Neville, Joyce Cobb, Donald Brown, Alexis Cole, Tony Campise, Bobby Shew, Christian McBride, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. His catalogue of music is extensive ranging from jazz through contemporary classical; he has worked for Columbia Pictures Publishing, Warner Brothers, and Alfred Music as a staff arranger since 1993. His writing style is summed up as, "...propulsive and sassy on an initial listen, revealing subtle shadings and intricate nuances upon repeated listening. I might have guessed Don Sebesky...on a blindfold test."


*2010 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts Award from the UMAA


Clarinet - Buffet R-13 Flute - Yamaha Soprano Sax - Yanagizawa Alto Sax - Selmer Mk VII Tenor Sax - Selmer Mk VI


Year in Review

Top 12 "Most Recommended" Album Reviews: 2014

Read "Top 12 "Most Recommended" Album Reviews: 2014" reviewed by Michael Ricci

All About Jazz tracks how often an album review is recommended, and the reviews listed below represent our top twelve published in 2014. Mists--Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra Jack Cooper by C. Michael Bailey Published: September 21, 2014 Shrimp Tale Alan Chan by Jack Bowers Published: July 1, 2014 Conversations About Thomas Chapin Stefano Leonardi / Stefano ...

Take Five With...

Take Five With Dr. Jack Cooper

Read "Take Five With Dr. Jack Cooper" reviewed by Dr. Jack Cooper

Meet Dr. Jack Cooper: Jack Cooper, has a wide range of experience as a performer, composer, and educator. His most recent CD recording of his compositions/arrangements, Mists: The Music of Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts Records, 2014) was released in August to critical acclaim in the Chicago Tribune and All About Jazz. His compositions and arrangements have been performed and/or recorded by the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the ...

Album Review

Jack Cooper: Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra

Read "Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954), one of the first American composers of classical music to earn an international reputation, derived his inspiration from themes he had heard while growing up in Connecticut: hymns, traditional folk songs, marching bands (his father led one), patriotic songs, parlor ballads, Saturday night dances, and especially the melodies of the great Stephen Foster. Jazz composer / arranger / orchestrator / educator / saxophonist Jack Cooper, who was introduced to Ives' music by his mother, Georgie Cooper, ...

Album Review

Jack Cooper: Mists - Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra

Read "Mists - Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954) was an arts iconoclast in the vein of his contemporary poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). Both men were successful business executives who profoundly changed American art as an avocation. Ive's music brimmed with an Americana that sounds slightly sepia-toned today, but that has not prevented it's subjugation as subject for jazz interpretation, another piece of Americana. Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody's Twelve Songs by Charles Ives (Winter & Winter, 2008) set the patrician insurance executive's sound on ...

Album Review

Jack Cooper: Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter

Read "Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Jazz Orchestra of the Delta is a 17-member big band lead by Jack Cooper and, on this present recording, featuring trumpeter Marvin Stamm and vocalist Sandra Dudley. The Memphis-based group and special guests direct their attention here to the music composed and inspired by Cole Porter. Dr. Cooper spent the better part of the last decade scoring these chestnuts, and his careful consideration is apparent in the effortless swing that the band brings to these pieces. “Love ...

Album Review

Jack Cooper: Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter

Read "Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Delta in the Jazz Orchestra's name refers to the Mississippi Delta, specifically around Memphis, TN, where the five-year-old JOD is based. Formed in 1998 by composer / arranger Jack Cooper, the eighteen-piece ensemble is comprised of some of the finest professional jazz and studio musicians in the area. On its debut album, Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter, the JOD is bolstered by the remarkably talented trumpeter and big-band veteran, Memphis-born Marvin Stamm, who solos on four ...

Album Review

Jack Cooper: Big Band Refections of Cole Porter

Read "Big  Band Refections of Cole Porter" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Cole Porter didn't set out to write songs for the jazz folks to sink their teeth into; but it's happened that way anyway. It seems any jazz artist worth their salt tackles Porter at one time or another. Charlie Parker had a field day; Ella Fitzgerald put out a couple of albums' worth of Porter songs. And Frank Sinatra's “I've Got You Under My Skin," written by Porter with Nelson Riddle orchestrating and Old Blue Eyes singing, is artistry at ...

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Serving as both composer and musical director, in February 2006 Cooper collaborated with award winning choreographer Mark Godden to produce the ballet Two Jubilees. Critic Christopher Blank comments in the Feb. 2006 Commercial Appeal, "...if one were to consider a title that better unified the program's two very different ballets, a fitting substitute would be 'Jazz Orchestra of the Delta,' or even just the word 'Cooper.' Performing live for the dancers, the excellent 17-piece ensemble founded by Jack Cooper...was a marvelous treat midway through the ballet's (sic) season..."
Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Advanced only


Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Memphis.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Can do clinics on jazz improvisations, composing and arranging and work with jazz groups of all sizes.

Michael Waldrop



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Origin Suite

Origin Records


Time Within Itself

Origin Records


Mists - Charles Ives...

Planet Arts Records


Mists: Charles Ives...

Planet Arts Records


The Chamber Wind...

Centuar Records



From: Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz...
By Jack Cooper


From: Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz...
By Jack Cooper

Two In Love

From: Big Band Reflections of Cole...
By Jack Cooper


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