Chris Coogan is a multi-talented entertainer who,
as a composer, performer, teacher, choir director and producer, is
rooted in the jazz and gospel traditions. Coogan performs original and
traditional music as a pianist and singer, as the leader of a jazz
group, and as director of the Good News Gospel Choir. In addition, he
teaches jazz piano and leads gospel workshops throughout the country to
help reinvigorate church and community choirs.
Coogan as Jazz
For 10 years, Coogan has lead the Chris Coogan
Quartet, a combo whose repertoire includes strait-ahead jazz, fusion
jazz and boogie-woogie. S'Funky, Coogan's first jazz album containing
his original songs, was released in 1995 and re-released in 1999. It
features the song Cranberry Isle which took the top jazz prize in the
1997 John Lennon Songwriting Competition.
Coogan's credits as a jazz musician include music director for the
jazz guitarist, Sal Salvador. Has played with: Dave Liebman,
Brecker, Lou Soloff, Jimmy Vivino, Harold Danko, Ronnie Spector, James
Naughton, Phoebe Snow, Jose Feliciano, Bette Midler, Donna
Summer, Will Lee, Shawn Pelton, Vanees Thomas, Rob Mathes, Kristen
Chenoweth, Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult, accompanied singers from
Chicago and Phantom of the Night, as well as jazz arranging for Teo
Maceo, (producer for the late Miles Davis).
He appeared on television's Celebrity Jeopardy and the Arsenio Hall
Show and has performed at Manhattan's Blue Note and the Montreaux Jazz
Festival. He has written and performed original Gospel
music for PBS on prime time television in a documentary on the
evangelist, Amy Semple Mcferson with acclaimed emmy winning composer,
He has performed locally at parties for Martha Stewart, Paul Newman and
Joanne Woodward and been asked to perform for President Bill and
Hillary Clinton. He is the director of the Good News Gospel
Choir, performing locally at many area churches and festivals.
Coogan as Gospel
Coogan also leads a successful career as a choral
director; as well as a writer and arranger of gospel music. He weaves
jazz black gospel and white choral music into a new brand of music that
engages a broad, cross-cultural audience.
In 1993, he founded the good News Gospel Choir with 15 members. Today,
this 50-voice, multi-denominational singing group performs nearly every
weekend at churches, festivals, fundraisers and various community
events throughout the state of Connecticut. The group has released two
albums, 1997's Joy, Unspeakable Joy and most recently, Light a Candle.
Through a choral workshops, Coogan has begun to help reinvigorate
church and community choirs by teaching directors and members the vocal
techniques and gesture that accompany Gospel music. These workshops
have been offered throughout California and in Sydney, Australia and
will be offered to churches throughout the country in Spring, 2001.
His Gospel credentials include performing with
Take 6, Al Sharpton, and Richard Smallwood.
I see myself as a catalyst who uses the medium of music to bring people
together" Coogan said. "It's my passion to help people find joy in
making music and singing from their souls".