More About Bryan Cooper

Although he has been playing drums since the age of 12 (and boxes of carpet-tile since the age of 10), Bryan started his professional career with the classic rock band Friends in 2006 at the age of 50, going out on his own in 2010.  Since then, in addition to his recent collaborations, which include Lost Art (acoustic and power trios), The Dive Bombers (featuring Joe Sweeney of John Eddie and The Front Street Runners) and DelCo's own George O'Brien, along with guest performances with John Magill, Kurt & Meg of Chubby Babies, Jimmy Dean Duo, and Poor Mouth Henry Duo.  He is also a frequent guest performer with some of New Jersey's premier bands, including The Suspects99 ReasonsRyptydeThe Relics, Random Notes and Sweet RevengeHe also supports performances (usually on the cajon) with Rusty & Jan (Rock and Folk), Marc Lancaster (Indie Rock), and both acoustic and electric performances with Scotty-L. He lays down the beat for the otherwise all-girl lineup of The Jersey Peaches (Rock/Pop), and makes frequent open mic appearances in the area. 

During the Corona Pandemic closures (March 2020 through June 2021), Bryan and his cajon made frequent socially distant appearances with acoustic and electric solo and duo acts stemming from the many bands that could not perform in their full band format, including several shows with Linda Schmidt (acoustic duo and trio), Random Notes Duo.  Some of these collaborations are continuing as many venues have adopted the scaled-down music format on a regular basis.

He has performed with many artists, including Deconstruction Blues icon Three Cat Clem (now peeling the paint off the walls in Tulsa OK), grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tim Gleeson and his band The Luck Brothers (Blues and Soul),  The Scotty-L Band, and members of several bands from the legendary South Street scene of Philadelphia, including Larry Saklad (Alan Mann & The Free Arts Band, Robert Hazard, Exisdance), Paul Kurrey (Jamison Smoothdog), Joe DeFeo, and David Rowan (Exisdance/Wet Pet).  He has also performed as a guest and fill-in drummer/percussionist with several local musical notables including, Rear View Mirror, Kenn Kweder, Fran Smith Jr, Valkyrians, Crossfire, Elise Moureau, Terry Rivel and the Ghost Riders, The Where?Abouts, Debbie Scott, BB Jackson (Jack Jeckot), Shawn Would, and many others. He served a 3-year stint as the house drummer for the legendary Barrington Coffeehouse MusiCafe Wide Open Mic, where he performed alongside Scott "Trif" Trifeletti and bassist extraordinaire, Al Weinstock.  He was also the house drummer and percussionist for the Wednesday open jam, and Monday acoustic open mic at Downey's Pub on Philadelphia's legendary South Street.

From 2011 through 2013, Bryan performed with CSC Global Jam, comprising more than 2 dozen musicians and vocalists from 11 countries on 5 continents.  This group would work on songs and arrangements via virtual conferencing for 50 weeks of the year, assembling at the site of the annual CSC Technology and Business Solutions Conference 3-5 days in advance in order to rehearse, and then perform at the conference gala event for over 2000 colleagues and clients.

And for "something completely different", Coop has performed musical theater (yes, that means reading charts) with the Cinnaminson (NJ) High School Theater, Moorestown (NJ) High School Theater, and several community theater groups, including the Burlington County Footlighters, and The Village Playbox.  

For nearly 20 years, Bryan volunteered with the Mount Laurel (NJ) Schools' Performing Arts program, under the direction of Jack Jeckot (Wilmont Mews with Walter Trout, BB Jackson, and now touring with The Richie Furay Band), where, in addition to playing drums & percussion, guitar, and bass, he learned and performed set construction, stage lighting and both live and recorded audio, working alongside the lighting and sound professionals from Starlight Productions of South Jersey.

In high school, under the direction of Donald "Uncle Don" Newell, Bryan served as the drumline captain of the marching band, first chair snare in the concert band, played bass guitar in the contemporary band, rhythm guitar in the jazz band (without all those fancy jazz chords), and was a featured baritone horn in the brass ensemble.

Prior to moving to South Jersey from Staten Island NY, he played with a local classic rock band known as Pariah, alongside now-published composer and recording artist, Tom Uttaro, and was drumline captain and first chair snare in the Holy Child Marching 100 and concert band, under the direction of the late Larry "Mr. C" Christiansen. 
Bryan began his drum studies under Staten Island's drumming legend, Dan Kish, at the Rostetter Studios in Great Kills. Bryan recently learned that "Mr C" also studied under Dan Kish.
Bryan's drumming influences come from a variety of styles, including (though hardly limited to):
  • N.D. Smart (w/Leslie West and Mountain)
  • Corky Laing (w/Leslie West and Mountain - successor to ND Smart))
  • Doug Clifford (CCR)
  • Ed Shaughnessy (Tonight Show Orchestra w/Doc Severinson)
  • Ray Cooper (everybody's drummer and percussionist)
  • Buddy Rich (legend)
  • Buckets the Drummer (a guy in a horse head, playing a 5 gallon bucket in the shower)
  • Animal (Muppet)
  • Top Secret Drum Corps

Bryan and "El Cajon" can be heard on:
  • Shawn Would's CD, including the title track, Rise Up To The Sky
  • Lost Art's CD, Original Music for Modern Times
  • Rusty & Jan's CD, Pop's Train