Jerome Cooper

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Not to be confused with Jerome G. Cooper.

Jerome Cooper (December 14, 1946 – May 6, 2015) was an American free jazz musician. Known as a multi-dimensional drummer, Cooper played balafon, chirimia and electronic tonal activator in addition to trap drums. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and died in Brooklyn, New York.

Cooper studied with Oliver Coleman and Walter Dyett in the late 1950s and early 1960s, then studied at the American Conservatory and Loop College. In 1968 he worked with Oscar Brown, Jr. and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre in the U.S. but moved to Europe before the end of the decade, where he played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Steve Lacy, Lou Bennett, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, and Noah Howard.

After returning to the U.S. in 1971, he joined the Revolutionary Ensemble alongside Leroy Jenkins and Sirone, where he remained for several years and played piano, flute, and bugle in addition to drums. In the 1970s, he played with Sam Rivers, George Adams, Karl Berger, Andrew Hill, and Anthony Braxton. In the 1980s he worked again with McIntyre and with Cecil Taylor.[1]


Cooper died May 6, 2015, aged 68, from complications of multiple myeloma, according to his daughter, Levanah Cummins-Cooper.[2][1]


As leader[edit]

  • 1978: Positions 3 6 9 (Kharma)
  • 1978: Root Assumptions (Anima)
  • 1979: For the People (Hathut)
  • 1979: Unpredictability of Predictability (About Time)
  • 1988: Outer and Interactions (About Time)
  • 2001: In Concert: From There to Hear (Mutable Music)
  • 2003: Alone, Together, Apart (Mutable Music)

As sideman[edit]

With Lester Bowie

With Anthony Braxton

With Cecil Taylor

With Rahsaan Roland Kirk

With Revolutionary Ensemble

  • Revolutionary Ensemble (ESP-Disk, 1972)
  • Revolutionary Ensemble (Enja, 1977)


  1. ^ a b Obituary,, May 14, 2015; accessed May 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "RIP Jerome Cooper". Avant Music News.