DAVID BENNETT COHEN
"Mr. Cohen isn't the average hippie gone Wall Street, he's also a certifiably smokin' barrel house rumba boogie-woogie piano player in the James Booker/Professor Longhair/Dr. John vein."
David Bennett Cohen has been a professional musician for more than 30 years. Best known for his innovative keyboard playing as an original member of the '60's rock band, Country Joe and the Fish, he is an equally accomplished guitar player who has been involved in numerous music scenes throughout his varied career.
David began his musical education at the age of seven, studying classical piano for seven years. While studying the piano, he began to teach himself the guitar, beginning at the age of nine. When he was 14, he heard boogie-woogie piano for the first time and was hooked. Since then, he has explored many different styles of Blues and popular music. He was fortunate enough to have heard Otis Spann, Professor Longhair, Meade Lux Lewis and other masters of the genre perform live.
"What separates Cohen from a lot of other players is his unassuming ease behind the keys, and the ability to take that admiration past rote emulation, invoking the spirits of boogie-woogie, stride and blues piano greats without ever forcing things or just replicating other folks' licks."
Over the years, he has played and/or recorded with The Blues Project, Mick Taylor, The Luther Tucker Blues Band, Elvin Bishop, Hubert Sumlin, Melvin Van Peebles, Happy and Artie Traum, Arlen Roth, Eric Anderson, David Blue, Tim Hardin, Norton Buffalo, Jerry Miller, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Buddy Miles, John Cippolina, Huey Lewis, Michael Bloomfield, Bob Weir, John Kahn, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy Vivino, Jay Owens, Debbie Davies, Byther Smith, Bobby Kyle, Rocky Lawrence, Johnny B. Gayden, Sandra Feva and others.
As a solo performer, he has shared the bill with Country Joe McDonald, Kenny Rankin, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, Jerry Garcia, Leo Kottke, Rufus Thomas, Meatloaf, Booker T., The Roches, Kingfish, J. Giles and Magic Dick and many others.
He played on Broadway and toured in the hit show, RENT, doubling on keyboards and guitars, and his distinctive piano style is featured on the new Bill Perry Blues Band CD, Crazy Kind of Life, on Blind Pig Records, along with his instrumental composition, Morning Spiritual.
His latest CD, "In the Pocket," is available on his web site, www.davidbennettcohen.com. (It is also available on Amazon.com, CD Baby, CD Now, and several other online sites.)
His 1984 release, David Bennett Cohen at the Piano, on Rag Baby Records, has recently been re-released and is available on his web site.
David has recorded two audio teaching tape series (Blues/ Rock Piano and Ragtime Piano), a three videotape series (Blues Piano) and his latest video, Blues and Rock Techniques for Hammond Organ, all on Homespun Tapes. In addition, he has two guitar instruction albums on Kicking Mule Records, How To Play Folk Guitar, and, Rock and Roll Guitar.
His books, David Bennett Cohen Teaches Blues Piano, Volumes I and II, with accompanying CD's, also on Homespun and distributed by Hal-Leonard, are currently in music and bookstores throughout the country. His latest book/CD package, David Bennett Cohen Teaches Rock and Roll Piano, will be out in the fall of 2003.
In spite of his busy schedule, David still finds time for private piano and guitar students.
His professional approach, attitude and musicianship enhance any project that he is associated with.
"Cohen radiates the 88's impeccably."
(All excerpts: CMJ New Music Report July 24, 1992 by James Lein)
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