Jim Cooper

Jim's Bio

Jim Cooper has been playing the vibraphone for over 40 years, leading numerous groups and appearing as both soloist and sideman. A native Chicagoan, Jim has lived in West Michigan for almost 20 years. In addition to performing and recording with Michigan clarinetists Harry Goldson and Dave Bennett, pianist Jeff Haas and saxist Ken Morgan, he has performed with nationally known jazz artists 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 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 and has been hanging in New York City sitting in at Small’s Jazz Club and the Fat Cat. He was recently 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 University Jazz Band.

Jim has won numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts grant and ArtPrize's 2015 Best Jazz Composition award in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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 featuring the late pianist, Dave Hay.  His new 2018 CD release, Make Someone Happy, features a Chicago quartet with legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. 

Jim currently teaches Music History and Jazz Piano and Vibraphone at Lake Michigan College and gives clinics in improvisation and vibes at many schools.  He is a Musser Performing Artist and endorses Mike Balter Mallets.