Remember
Jazz
Jazz Memorial Sites | Getty Images / Nick White

Kelan Phil Cohran Obituary

5/8/1927 - 6/28/2017| Visit Guest Book
Kelan Phil Cohran  (Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty)
Kelan Phil Cohran (Robert Abbott Sengstacke / Getty)
Kelan Phil Cohran, an influential Chicago jazz musician who co-founded the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, has died, according to multiple news sources. He was 90.

His son Tycho told the Chicago Tribune that his father died Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at the University of Chicago Hospital.

Cohran was born May 8, 1927, in Mississippi and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He played trumpet in a band led by Jay McShann and then played in a U.S. Navy band while serving in the military.

Click to get weekly celebrity death news delivered to your inbox.

After his service, Cohran moved to Chicago. In the late 1950s, Cohran joined up with the legendary Sun Ra and His Arkestra. He played with the groundbreaking experimental jazz band from 1959 to 1961. His trumpet playing was featured on the records “Fate in a Pleasant Mood” and “Angels and Demons at Play.”

When Sun Ra moved to New York City, Cohran stayed in Chicago. He had a significant impact on music development. In 1965, he co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The nonprofit organization has helped influence and cultivate musicians all over the globe. He also helped create the influential Artistic Heritage Ensemble with Pete Cosey.

Cohran started the Afro-Arts Theater in Chicago. One of his students was Maurice White, who would go on to become the leader of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Cohran invented an instrument that he called the frankiphone, which was used on some of Sun Ra’s early albums. The instrument is also known as the space harp. White incorporated a version of the frankiphone in the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire.

“I think he had a profound influence on many organized groups,” AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams told the Chicago Tribune. “They more or less cut their teeth in Chicago, and their major influence was Phil Cohran.”

Cohran continued to perform and record; his latest album, “Singles,” was released in 2007. His eight sons carry on his legacy with their nine-member band, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

Read Full Obituary for Kelan Phil Cohran

Guest Book Highlights

If you need help finding the right words, view our Suggested Entries
 

Other obituaries

Published online on June 28, 2017 courtesy of Tributes.com
Kelan Phil Cohran, an influential Chicago jazz musician who co-founded the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, has died, according to multiple news sources. For full obituary and coverage from Legacy.com, ... Read Obituary

Search Memorials

- ADVERTISEMENT -

About This Site: Jazz Memorials

The Jazz Memorial Site includes obituaries and Guest Books from the Legacy.com network of newspaper and funeral home affiliates.

- ADVERTISEMENT -
- ADVERTISEMENT -