Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Coogan, Cookie (nee Lauri Ann Robinson aka, Lauri Robinson-Keegan)
Coogan, Cookie (nee Lauri Ann Robinson aka, Lauri Robinson-Keegan) vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger, educator b. Waterville, ME October 23, 1965. She lived in rural Albion, Maine with her mother (born Patricia Ann Robbins, 1945), father (Horace Elmer Robinson, b.1941), sister (Amy Lynn, b. 1967) and brother (Joel Dana, b. 1971).
As a child, she first learned music from her mother who sang in church. She also studied piano occasionally and learned to play the flute and percussion in public school. At the age of 14, she discovered jazz and began playing piano and vibraphone in school stage bands. She attended Maine Jazz Camp where she studied piano with Gerry Wright and Chris Neville. She also began studying arranging with guidance from camp founder, Don Nelson. It was Wright who introduced her to the art of solo and ensemble jazz singing.
In 1984, Coogan left Maine to pursue a degree in Music Education at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. While an undergraduate, she studied jazz with guitarist Steve Brown and jazz vocal educator/arranger Dave Riley. In addition to appearing with Ithaca College's Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop big bands, she also began building a local performance career singing for parties,in clubs, at churches, and in concerts.
Upon graduating from Ithaca (B.Music Education, 1989), she married James Keegan with whom she has two sons (Kelsey John, b. 1992 and Joseph Patrick, b. 1994). She established herself locally as an educator and performer by teaching at Ithaca's Community School of Music and Arts and as an elementary school music teacher in the Ithaca City School District (1995-2000). In 1998, she began directing the Ithaca College Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She earned a masters degree in Music Education from Ithaca College in May of 2000. She performs with many local and regional musicians including her mentor, Steve Brown, Rochester bandleader/pianist Gap Mangione, drummer Danny D'Imperio (who bestowed the name "Cookie Coogan" upon her), vibraphonist Brian Murphy, guitarist Bob Piorun, trombonist/composer Angelo Candela, and members of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra. She has also appeared with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra underthe direction of Charles Schneider.
She has served as a guest conductor and has presented a variety of clinics about using jazz in elementary general music education and about vocal jazz style and pedagogy for singers and teachers of all ages.
RECORDINGS, BROADCASTS, AND FILMS:
"Until We See You Again" Bob Piorun and Kevin Dorsey (independent release) singing "My Sun Is Gone" by Piorun
"Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators" Rompin' Records, 2000; uncredited arrangement of "Dat Dere" by Bobby Timmons
"First Batch" (currently unreleased). Copies available upon request at ookiecoogan.com. With Brian Murphy, vibraphone, Steve Brown, guitar, Mike Solazzo, bass, Dave Solazzo, piano, and Tom Killian, drums.
Several appearances on local television in Binghamton, Ithaca, and Cortland, NY.