Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Staff Sgt. Cooper moved to New York shortly after graduating high school to attend the New School University, where he studied under jazz master Benny Powell. Shortly thereafter, Staff Sgt. Cooper became a regular touring member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, performed on Sunday nights at Birdland with the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Orchestra, and had many other performances with other bands around New York City. Clark Terry was also very helpful to Staff Sgt. Cooper, inviting him to perform with a very young band he put together called “The Young Titans of Jazz.” Terry invited him to record in Bern, Switzerland, as well as a live DVD in Birdland in New York City. While on tour with Clark in Switzerland, Staff Sgt. Cooper met the members of the Count Basie Orchestra and was invited to join. Since then, Staff Sgt. Cooper has performed all over the world, playing in concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and Bunkyo Civic Hall in Japan. He has played with Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, Dianne Schuur, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, and the Charles Tolliver Orchestra, to name a few.