Skip to main content

Memphis Composers

Memphis area composers, including current and former faculty, students, community members.


Dr. Jack Cooper (B.A., M.A.,Cal. State, Los Angeles; D.M.A., Univ. of Texas, Austin), is Associate Professor and Jazz and Studio Music Area Coordinator at the Rudi E. Schedit School of Music at the University of Memphis. In 2010 he received the University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts Award. As a saxophone/woodwind performer and staff arranger, Cooper performed, recorded, and toured with the U.S. Army "Jazz Knights" from 1989 to 1995. As a woodwind doubler, he has performed with Manhattan Transfer, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Ray Romano, Macey Gray, Brian McKnight, the Temptations, the IRIS Orchestra and many others. His lead alto and woodwind playing can be heard on the critically acclaimed 2009 release “Coming Through Slaughter” featuring trumpeter Tim Hagens.  Cooper has performed with and written music for jazz artists Peter Erskine, Marvin Stamm, Bobby Shew, Mulgrew Miller, Gary Foster, Benny Powell, and Christian McBride. His most recent CD recording of his compositions is with Centaur Records, “The Chamber Wind Music of Jack Cooper” (Centaur 3027, released in 2010).   

Cooper's compositions and arrangements have been performed and/or recorded by the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Junction Symphony, the Summit Jazz Orchestra (Germany), the U.S. Army "Jazz Ambassadors," the U.S. Navy "Commodores," the Rob Parton Jazz Orchestra, the Cavani String Quartet, the Ceruti String Quartet, Alma Latina, DEKA Jazz and the Brass 5. Cooper's television music composition credits included "the Jenny Jones Show," "Hollywood Xtra, "SOCAN, and news broadcasts in the Washington, D.C. area. He has been a staff arranger and clinician for Alfred/Belwin Jazz Publications since 1992. His music is also published by UNC Jazz Press,, Increase Music, and Three-Two music. Jack Cooper is musical director and founder of the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta. Their CD, "Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter," was released in June 2003 on the Summit Record Label and features music entirely composed and or arranged by Dr. Cooper. He collaborated with award winning choreographer Mark Godden to produce the ballet "Two Jubilees" which was premiered in February of 2006


Five scenes for brass quintet score CD

Mists : Charles Ives for jazz orchestra / arranged by Jack Cooper CD

One of the missing : for those lost in Iraq score CD

Scenes for brass score

Sonata for clarinet CD

Sonata for saxophone  CD

 Sonata for trombone score CD

Links of interest