Hello music fans,
I’m very sad to write of the death of Barry Cooper. He was a huge music fan and dedicated promoter. Barry was a founder member of Leeds Jazz in 1984, pulling into Leeds an impressive list of acts including Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Paul Dunmall and the Art Ensemble of Chicago! His tastes were a little too wild for Leeds Jazz so he found a home promoting gigs with the Termite Club, and got hold of me and Stephen Becker in summer 2014 to restart Termite Club, this time its fourth incarnation.
Three weeks ago, on his birthday, Barry left a facebook post stating he had cancer. He wrote:
“not bad, chance to ditch academic drudgery and work on the stuff I love, and talk to the amazingly wonderful and interesting and beautiful people around me – and hope for energy and time to think and write.”
Barry died on Monday last week, far sooner than expected.
Also on behalf of Stephen Becker I’d like to say how great it was putting on gigs with Barry. Barry was printing flyers, organising bands and being a great partner in all things musical and otherwise. It’s amazing he fit it all in, with constantly flying off to conferences, as well as looking after his students at the University of Leeds. He kept optimistic about the venture of promoting gigs and not losing money, and said he was “brave, to the point of stupidity…”.
A strange and wonderful thing is that Barry’s obituaries reveal a man of such energy outside of music. His work on the mathematician Alan Turing is really significant, in part leading to the man’s royal pardon in 2013. Barry also did a great deal of activism in his time. Yet he never felt the need to shout out his achievements. Here you can find a great obituary relating to his academic work: http://richardelwes.co.uk/2015/10/28/barry-cooper-1943-2015/#comments
Here is a photo of Barry (right) with Stephen (left) at the Fenton for our Termite gig in April. Not the best shot but it’s great to see him in his characteristic black leather jacket:
Let’s find some obscure jazz, weird minimalist nonsense, and crank it up in his memory!! We are also dedicating our next gig in his memory, and will send out details of this shortly.
Love to you all,
Pascal Ansell & Stephen Becker