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Dr. Tyron Cooper


Two-time Emmy award winner and Lake Worth, Florida native, Dr. Tyron Cooper, is a 1996 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. He holds a B.A. degree in Music Education from B-CU, as well as a M.A. in Jazz Studies and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology; both from Indiana University (IU). Upon receiving his master’s degree, Dr. Cooper returned to B-CU’s faculty, serving as Assistant Director of the Concert Chorale under the leadership of his mentor, Dr. Rebecca W. Steele. He also served as Director of Jazz Combo and instructor for bass and guitar at B-CU.

Currently, Dr. Cooper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at IU and the Director of the IU Soul Revue, a performance ensemble that examines and performs Black popular music post-WWII to the present. He is also IU’s founding Director of Camp S.O.U.L. (Students Obtaining Unique [musical] Levels), a pre-college summer program targeting under-represented high school students interested in examining and performing African American music and culture from the 18th century to the present. In addition, through Art Salad productions (a company founded and owned by Dr. Cooper and his wife, Mrs. Joii Cooper), he serves as lecturer, clinician, and consultant for educational, religious and mainstream institutions throughout the nation, which emphasize arts, culture and education.

As a result of his early upbringing where he learned to perform with his family’s gospel group, The Cooper Singers, along with his extensive formal music training beginning as vocalist, guitarist and eventual student section leader in Dr. Steele’s Concert Chorale at B-CU, Dr. Cooper has become sought after within the broader entertainment industry. As music director, guitarist, arranger and singer, he has recorded and performed in various genres with national artists such as A Taste of Honey, Donnie McClurkin, and Kim Burrell.

Dr. Cooper is also an award winning arranger/performer and composer for numerous documentaries that have aired on PBS and ESPN including “Strange Fruit: The Salt Project” (2014) and “Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard: Heart of a Hoosier” (2014), respectively, earning him two Emmy awards in 2015.

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