Sneha Girap

Carla Cook

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Origin  Detroit, Michigan
Labels  Maxjazz
Record label  Maxjazz
Instruments  Voice
Occupation(s)  Musician
Role  Vocalist ·
Genres  Jazz
Name  Carla Cook

Carla Cook Celebrate Great Women of Jazz Jan 30 KUVOKVJZ
Albums  Simply Natural, Maxjazz Holiday, Dem Bones, It's All About Love
Similar People  Lynne Arriale, Grace Kelly, Aaron Goldberg

Education  Northeastern University

Lynne arriale carla cook grace kelly river

Carla Cook is a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist.


Carla Cook C a r l a C o o k

Carla cook the way you look tonight


Carla Cook Cork Jazz Festival 2014 Dublin Jazz Photography

A Detroit, Michigan native, music seized hold of Cook at an early age. As a student at Cass Technical High School she played string bass in the school orchestra, studied piano and voice on weekends, and sang in her church’s choir. An elder brother introduced her to jazz, Cook chose voice as her instrument of choice, and she became a disciple of jazz icon Eddie Jefferson, founder of a singing technique called ‘vocalese’ where a singer sings lyrics to a famous instrumental solo.

Carla Cook wwwmasimascomsitesdefaultfilesimagecacheesp

During this time she and close friend Regina Carter formed dreams of becoming jazz musicians; Cook as a singer, and Carter as a violinist. At Carter’s urging she applied to and was accepted by Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. While at Northeastern she remained in close contact with Carter (who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music and met Cyrus Chestnut, a jazz pianist studying at nearby Berklee School of Music. After graduating from Northeastern in 1985 Cook remained in Boston preparing herself for a career singing jazz in New York.

Carla Cook PRX Piece Carla Cook In her own words

In February 1990 she moved to New York and supported herself as a school teacher and book seller during the day, and singing at night. After five years she traveled to Europe and from 1993-1994 Cook served as a guest vocal and ensemble instructor at the Jazzschule in Basel, Switzerland, and Jazz and Rock Schule in Freiburg, Germany. She returned to New York two years later and her work included singing with Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra and George Gee’s Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra. In 1998 she signed with MaxJazz, a fledgling music label, and that year she released her first CD, ‘It’s All About Love’, to great acclaim, including a best jazz vocal Grammy nomination. Her second CD, ‘Dem Bones’ (a tribute to all the trombone players she’d worked with in the Lionel Hampton and George Gee groups), released in 2001, was also a success, and received a glowing review from Down Beat magazine, the leading jazz publication. In 2002 she released her CD ‘Simply Natural’, which was inspired by her love for the beauty found in nature. In 2011 her rendition of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was featured on jazz percussionist Steve Kroon's CD 'Without A Doubt'.

Carla Cook Carla Cook Quartet Splash

Cook performs globally both with her own groups, most notably 'the Carla Cook Quintet', and as a guest soloist with artists including Eric Reed and old friends Regina Carter and Cyrus Chestnut (both of whom have become young luminaries in the jazz world). Her eclectic venues include the digital realm as she is featured as a character in the Sony PlayStation games, Um Jammer Lammy and Parappa the Rapper 2, and she has said that it is a dream of hers to appear with her favorite characters on Sesame Street.


  • It's All About Love (Maxjazz, 1999) with Regina Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Davis, Daryl Hall, George Gray, Jeff Haynes, Billy Kilson, Andy Milne
  • Dem Bones (Maxjazz, 2001) with Cyrus Chestnut, James Genus, Craig Harris, Jeff Haynes, Tyrone Jefferson, Billy Kilson, Fred Wesley,
  • Simply Natural (Maxjazz, 2002) with Bruce Barth, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Davis, Billy Kilson, Steve Kroon
  • References

    Carla Cook Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Aaron Goldberg
    Grace Kelly
    Lynne Arriale