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
Coogan as Jazz Musician
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
Coogan's credits as a jazz musician include performing with the late Sal
Salvador, Bette Midler, Donna Summer, Paul Newman, Whoopie Goldberg, Jo
Ann Woodward, Alec Baldwin, Gene Wilder, Larry Coryell, Dave Liebman,
Harold Danko, Ronnie Spector, James Naughton and Phoebe Snow, as well
as 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.
Coogan as Gospel Musician
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
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.
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".