Jim Cooper




 Jim Cooper has been playing the vibraphone for over 40 years, leading numerous groups and appearing as both soloist and sideman. A native Chicagoan now living in West Michigan,  he has performed with nationally known jazz artists as Art Van Damme, Larry Vuckovich, Frank Wess, Milt Hinton, Marcus Belgrave, Ira Sullivan, Buddy de Franco and Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Jim has also has performed and/or recorded with Michigan clarinetists Harry Goldson and Dave Bennett, pianists Jeff Haas and Robin Connell, organist Jim Alfredson, saxist Ken Morgan and drummer Tim Froncek.

Cooper has performed in concerts, clubs and festivals, including The Chicago Jazz Festival, Sutton’s Bay Jazz Festival, Lansing Jazz Festival, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks, Grand Rapids Jazz Festival, Paradise Valley Jazz Party (AZ), Chicago’s Millennium Park, Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase, Chicago’s Green Mill, Winter's Jazz Club, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. He was featured in the Grand Rapids series, "Jazz in the Sanctuary" at Fountain Street Church and has performed with the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and most recently, the Grand Valley State University Jazz Band.

 Jim has won numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts grant, a WYCE-FM Jammie Award and ArtPrize's 2015 "Best Jazz Composition Award" in Grand Rapids.

As a Delmark Recording Artist in the early 90s, he released two CDs with ira Sullivan, Tough Town and Nutville.  His other CDs are Itchin' to Groove and Trio Musik.  His latest CD, released in 2018 is Make Someone Happy and features an outstanding Chicago quartet again with legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan at a live concert in 2000.

 Jim currently teaches Music History and Jazz Piano/ Vibraphone at Lake Michigan College in South Haven, Michigan and gives clinics in improvisation and vibes at many schools.  2019 marks Cooper's 18th year teaching summers at Blue Lake fine Arts Camp.  He endorses Musser vibes and Balter mallets.