Born Hamid Mottaghinejad in 1959 in Tehran, Iran, Hamid and his five siblings were raised in a loving home with parents who encouraged a love of music and the arts. He discovered a love for Jazz at an early age by listening to his father’s collection of Afro-Cuban inspired Jazz records. As a teen, Hamid was taught to play the drums (Persian and Congas) by his father, an accomplished percussionist. In his early twenties he moved to Denmark, Scandinavia where he continued exploration of the arts as well as health and fitness. A gifted artist, Hamid’s insightful paintings, sold in prominent galleries throughout Denmark. He also attended the Occupational University Copenhagen and studied Kinesiology and Physical Therapy.
In 1998 Hamid relocated to the U.S. to pursue a life-long dream of playing in a live Jazz band. In addition to landing several engagements (playing percussion with renowned musicians) at high-profile events and festivals, he also taught percussion at the Music & Art World Academy in Los Angeles. Soon after moving to the U.S., he settled in southern California, where he enjoys sharing his love for music and the arts. With compelling rhythms and impressive percussion duplicity, audiences are engaged by the spiritual depth of Hamid’s performances. He was often called “Mr. Cooper” by fellow musicians because of his love of classic cinema and admiration for the legendary actor, Gary Cooper.
In 2007 he formed Hamid Cooper Latin Jazz (HCLJ). Based in Southern California, the 5-7 member band is comprised of talented international musicians playing a range of instruments from wind to percussion. The band plays live dates in the Southern California region for listening and dancing. Jazz greats, the likes of Arturo Sandoval , Ruben Estrada, Henry Estrada, Freddie Ravel and David Paich (Toto) have also joined HCLJ on stage for Jam sessions.
Instrumental numbers like a Cooper-arranged cover of Sonny Rollins' jazz classic "St. Thomas," Jorge Ben Jor's familiar "Mas Que Nada," and some more exotic Middle-Eastern influenced originals like "The Humble Man" and "Do Dat" make up their repertoire. Some of their performances include: The Malibu Food & Wine Festival, LAPD’s Christmas Celebration hosted by Jay Leno, Jazz On The Hilltop, The Calabasas Fine Arts Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Celebration @ Muvico, The Malibu Cafe, Calabasas Summer Festival, and more.
The band has released Seven CDs: Latin Jazz Dream from Persia (2010) and The Spirit Filled Latin Jazz (2011), The Humble Man (2012), Hamid Cooper Caliente (2014), and a Single: #juris1020 (2016); King James23 & Digital Reign (2018).
available for purchase on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon. Their music is currently in rotation on Spotify, various radio stations across the U.S. and internationally on Jazz Caribe Radio in Venezuela.
Hamid Cooper Caliente
by George W. Harris • September 29, 2014
LA based percussionist Hamid Cooper has put together another irresistible mix of latin and Afro Cuban tunes here. Armed with a simpatico team of Artis Ford/p, Bill James/fl-as-ss, Bill Mason/tp and Doug White-Mike Monty/b, Hamid provides a sizzling mix of timbales, congas, bongos and other things that go bump in the night on the earthy and sauntering “Shadi” as well as a Central American and sweaty “Caravan.” The mix of trumpet and woodwinds make some hot staccato rhythms on the percolating “Victoria Grace” and the sounds of the Caribbean saunter through the streets on “Ran Kan Kan.” Hints of the Middle East peep through with piano, alto sax and trumpet on “El Cumbanchero showing that a good groove knows no geographical limitations. Great sounds for a party mood.
DON’T LET THEM PASS YOU BY-Hamid Cooper: The Humble Man
by George W. Harris • November 22, 2012
Local cat Hamid Cooper is always performing somewhere, leading his Afro-Cuban band with percussive delight. He can play anything that hands can hit, as his instrumental solos clearly demonstrate. Between these creative grooves, he and his sextet supports percolate through classics like “Cantaloupe Island,” “Sway” and “Guantanamera” making jazz that sounds smooth without being “smooth jazz.” A bit of Persian influence pops up now and then, particularly on the meditative “The Good Shepherd.” Nice mainstream material, with just a dash of spice.