Multi-Instrumentalist / Composer / Instrument Builder
Born in segregated Virginia, Cooper-Moore came of age as a musician and active member of the civil rights and peace movements. He became a pivotal member of the Free Jazz movement beginning with the collective Apogee with David S. Ware. He lived and performed at the Jazz Loft at 501 Canal Street. Cooper-Moore's primary instrument is the piano, though the many instruments he has designed and built have become part of his trademark. He is an important educator, inspiring generations of young artists through Head Start and other music programs around the world. Over the years he has also sought to mentor young musicians to pass forward the music that he feels so strongly about.
His contributions to music come from the total commitment that he makes to every sound, tone, and rhythm that comes through him into the instrument at hand. The quality of his approach to music is unique and based in his roots in the South. Because of his talent, he was chosen by his community to develop and play the music that had come to him from his background and was informed by the ongoing struggle for Civil Rights as he came of age. His music encompasses all of this and more. As with every genius, his music is the expression of the magic of Sound passing through.
Cooper-Moore has written and performed for playwrights such as Rita Dove and Laurie Carlos, and choreographers Joan Miller, Rod Rogers, Marlies Yearby, and Judith Jackson. He has led his own bands such as Triptych Myth and Digital Primitives. He has been a central figure in William Parker’s In Order to Survive and Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host.
At the Vision Festival in 2017, Arts for Art celebrated Cooper-Moore's lifetime of Achievement with performances by In Order to Survive, Digital Primitives, and Black Host.