Born 1962 in Arnhem, The Netherlands, Jan Kooper started playing the saxophone when he was 15 years old. In 1977 he already got his first major gig at the Korenmarkt (Arnhem, NL) for more than 5000 people. One year later, at the age of just 16, he made his first appearance on a vinyl record.
After finishing the conservatory in Hilversum, Jan started his own band: Coopertest, which released three CD’s and performed at a few dozen gigs in The Netherlands and abroad. Some of the band members of that time have now rejoined Jan with the King Kooper project (namely Ton Snijders and Arnold van Dongen).
In 1992 Jan has won the Heineken Crossover Award with The Sinister Project, a crew which released two albums during the early 90’s. In those years Jan also won the Conamus Composers Award for the track Op Stap, which he composed and produced.
Between 1995 and 2010 Jan has performed at major music festivals and performances while being a band member for famous Dutch artists such as Doe Maar, Willeke Alberti, BLØF, JAN SMIT, ANOUK and BEN SAUNDERS. But his reputation has no barriers, being the band manager for Sister Sledge for a number of years.
In the last few decades, Jan also made his appearance on more than 350 studio titles as a saxophone player for artists like Daniel Lohues, Waylon, Doe Maar and many others.
And Jan is not only famous for his exceptional saxophone skills, but is also a well-known composer for theatre and film productions in The Netherlands. Some examples of his work can be experienced in Dutch theatre productions such as Ten Liefde, Ajax, Medea, Merchant of Venice and Dantes‘ La Divina Commedia. Films for which Jan has made compositions are Beggar (Bart Klever) and Dazzle (Cyrus Frisch).
During the year 2010, Jan formed a new band called ‘King Kooper’ which made its first appearance at the Jazz festival Duketown with the following band members:
Bass Guitar: Paddy van Rijswijk
Drums: Mark Stoop
Guitar: Arnold van Dongen
Keyboard: Ton Snijders
After their first successful performance, Jan and his fellow band members flew to a nature reserve in the southern part of Spain. A beautiful location where Jan’s friend Jan Pijnenburg owns a farm house: the ideal location for a fertile musical collaboration. The result? King Kooper: Rekooperated, a marvelous semi-live recording of compositions Jan has made over the last few years, performed by some of the best Jazz musicians The Netherlands has to offer.