Born and raised in the Midwest, and currently living in Brooklyn, NY, GRAMMY award winning bassist, educator, and arranger Larry Cook has made his versatility and passion for nearly all styles of music his calling card. Steeped heavily in jazz, bluegrass, rock, and soul, his voracious appetite for learning about new sounds lends itself well to bringing heart and authenticity to any project with which he is involved.
Since his birth in Detroit, MI, his ears have been saturated with the sound of Motown. After initial studies on percussion, piano, guitar, and violin, his discovery of the electric bass at a young age has set the course for a fruitful life in music. Moving to a small town in Southeastern Ohio gave him the time and space necessary to focus, and, inspired by the classic jazz music he pursued in high school, he picked up the double bass at age 15. He soon set his course to Columbus, OH, graduating with honors from Capital University with a degree in Jazz Studies.
In 2004, he began working with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra as the music librarian and production manager. Within two years, the orchestra’s artistic director, Byron Stripling, hired Larry to play bass with and write for the orchestra. With the CJO, he has shared the stage with such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Earl Klugh, and Lou Marini, among others.
During his time in Ohio, he also also worked with the Jazz For Kids program, which, through many educational concerts and residencies, introduced live jazz to young students throughout Central Ohio. With this program, he developed and delivered programming which enabled and empowered kindergarten students to improvise and compose their own songs. He was also a founding faculty member of the Jazz Academy, delivering master classes and workshops in rhythm section styles, music software, and arranging.
In 2010, fascinated by the acoustic music movement in New York City, he relocated to Brooklyn, where he has been freelancing for nine years (on acoustic bass, electric bass, and guitar), and has become a valued contributor to the NYC music community, playing venues of all shapes and sizes, from Carnegie Hall to subway platforms, and all points in between. His work on the road has taken him across the globe, from Alaska to Sweden, and can be heard on over forty commercially available recordings. In NYC he also became known as a strong singer, contributing lead and harmony vocals to many of the projects on which he is involved. Since arriving, he has performed with a large list of legendary musicians in the world of bluegrass and country music, including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, Noam Pikelny, Brandi Carlile, and many more.
Still very active in the children’s music community, he was awarded a GRAMMY for his work with Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats (“All The Sounds”, Best Children’s Album 2019). He as also performed at Carnegie Hall with Michael Daves as a part of the Carnegie Musical Explorers program.
In addition to maintaining a busy performing schedule, he is a very active composer and arranger. His work has been performed by the Boston Pops, Dallas Symphony, and many others. He maintains a studio of select private students of all levels and ages, focusing on the finer points of bass playing and general musicianship.