Coat Cooke

Coat Cooke - Long Bio

Saxophonist, improvisor, composer, bandleader – all are Coat Cooke. Known for projecting an unexpected warmth with his wide palette of expression, the breadth of Coat’s music making includes the dramatic and powerful, the subtle and understated, and the mystical. Whether playing it sweet and lyrical, intensely emotional, or hard driving, Coat never fails to express profound artistic vision and deeply touch his listeners.

Coat’s highly personal musical language comes from a hunger to find and express innovative sounds and ideas in new contexts of word, movement, electronics and cultural perspectives from around the world. These explorations play out both in his compositions and the many improvising situations into which he puts himself. As one of Canada’s leading musical figures, he has developed a unique way of perceiving and then expressing his harmonic, melodic and rhythmic voices, evident to all from the very first listening.

As a soloist, Coat has emerged as one of Canada’s most lyrical and inventive saxophonists. As a bandleader, Coat’s uncanny ability to discover and collaborate with strong, exceptional players allows each musician to speak their unique musical story, supported by Coat’s intuitive ability to support and respond to any direction or idea emerging. His ensembles coalesce in a wickedly stronger brew than the sum of their parts.

Coat has toured Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe to great acclaim, whether playing in the acoustic Coat Cooke Trio or one of his electric bands, leading the legendary NOW Orchestra, or collaborating in one of many memorable projects with spoken word, dance and mixed media artists. He has performed with many of the world’s great improvisers including: George Lewis, Marilyn Crispell, Barry Guy, Wadada Leo Smith and Amina Claudine Myers.

Recordings of Coat Cooke include selections of his many compositions CDs of his bands Lunar Adventures and the NOW Orchestra, as well as the live recording of an all-improvised program on the Coat Cooke Trio’s critically acclaimed disc Up Down Down Up.

On stage and off, Coat gives everything he has, making each performance a special event for audiences everywhere. Visit him online at