Artist’s Choice: Cooper-Moore

April 20, 2013

The artist draws on a white board

Cooper-Moore explains the structures of Western and African music to families, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

Composer, performer, story teller, and instrument builder Cooper-Moore joined families to explore the exhibition Blues for Smoke. Born and raised in Virginia, Cooper-Moore moved to New York City in 1966 and became a part of the 1970s jazz scene. Families had the unique opportunity to view the exhibition from the perspective of a musician as Cooper-Moore led them through the galleries, making connections to works on view through song and personal anecdote. In the studio he demonstrated the convergence of European and African beats in blues and jazz music before teaching families to build and play their own musical instruments.

The Workshop

  • Cooper-Moore shares personal stories with families about some of the musicians painted by Bob Thompson in his artwork Garden of Music (1960), April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • Cooper-Moore plays the harp that he made in front of Bob Thompson’s painting Garden of Music (1960) while two fathers hold it for him, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • Cooper-Moore conducts families as they sound out the beats of Western and African music, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • Cooper-Moore asks a parent to dance the beats with feeling, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • Led by Cooper-Moore, volunteers perform a bell ensemble for the workshop participants, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • Cooper-Moore teaches a kid to use a piece of plastic straw as a reed, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • A mother teaches her daughter how to shape her mouth around the reed to make a sound, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • A parent testing out the notes on his hand-built horn, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld

  • A kid plays his hand-built horn, April 2013. Photograph by Jamie Rosenfeld