R.I.P. Kelan Phil Cohran, Jazz Pioneer Dead at 90

Jazz musician Kelan Phil Cohran has died, as the Chicago Tribune reports. The trumpeter, bandleader, and composer who founded the Artistic Heritage Ensemble with Pete Cosey was 90 years old. After playing in a military band as a young musician, his career as a professional musician took off in earnest once he began performing with Sun Ra and His Arkestra, with whom he played trumpet from 1959-1961. Cohran’s work with the Arkestra was recorded on several albums, including Fate in a Pleasant Mood and Angels and Demons at Play.

In late 1960s, Cohran co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and opened the Afro-Arts Theater in Chicago. Known for his work as an educator, one of Cohran’s students was a young Maurice White; members of the Artistic Heritage Ensemble went on to perform in Earth, Wind, and Fire as well. Cohran continued to record and release music, most recently recording with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (a group consisting of his eight sons).

 

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