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March 21, 2003 - Image 76

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-21

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'A wonderful adventure in fine dining" - Danny Raskin

Piano Man

Featuring Gourmet Oriental Cuisine


Chicago-based Ryan Cohan tickles the ivories
at Detroit's Harlequin Cafe.

7 Days

a Week
I I a.m.-

Special to the Jewish News


We Cater
To Private


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• 4-1 1

azz composer and pianist

Cohan's piano talents can be heard
on Priority, which features the Orbert
Davis Quintet, with whom Cohan he
has performed in many countries.
"Ramsey Lewis is developing a TV
show, Legends of Jazz, and I wrote the
theme song for it," says Cohan, who
appears regularly in three Chicago area
clubs, the Green Mill, Pops for
Champagne and Pete Miller's.
Cohan's mother, a teacher as well as
classical pianist and guitarist, intro-
duced her son to music. Although his
early instruction was on the violin, he
switched to keyboard and knew in high
school that he wanted a music career.

Ryan Cohan can get a little
tired of the question he's
asked most frequently: "Are
you related to legendary composer
George M. Cohan?"
"No," he will respond politely, and
then be glad to move on to inquiries
about himself, his appearances and
recordings, the people joining him on
stage and the music education pro-
grams he supports.
Cohan will appear with his quartet
Friday and Saturday, March 28-29,
at Detroit's Harlequin Cafe.
Although this will be his first appear-
ance in Detroit, he has worked in
Ann Arbor and traveled around the
state with family long before then.
"The majority of our show will
be original music that I wrote,"
says the Chicago-based Cohan, 31.
"We'll also do some standards with
our own arrangements."
Cohan's Detroit show — with
jazz artists on drums, sax and bass
— will feature many selections from
his second album, Here and Now.
Released and distributed interna-
tionally on the United Kingdom
label Sirocco Jazz, the instrumentals
reflect where he is and what he has
to say in the moment.
Ryan Cohan: "The majority of our show
"I try to express moods, feelings
will be original music that I wrote," says
and thoughts, and I try to be hon-
the pianist-composer.
est with what I'm trying to express,"
explains Cohan, whose tracks
"I discovered jazz when I was 15, and
include the upbeat "Think Again" and
resonated with me," Cohan
the more pensive "Haunted."
explains. "I wanted to spend all my time
"My recordings become a palette for
at the piano. I would come home from
how I see things."
school and turn off every light in the
house except the one over the keyboard.
Passion For Jazz
That was the way I could really focus."
Real World, Cohan's first album made
solely with his music, was released in
1997 and blended Chicago jazz instru- Multifaceted Career
The jazz enthusiast got his bachelor's
mentalists with members of the
degree in 1993 from DePaul
Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
University, where he performed and
Cohan's compositions, arrangements
recorded with the school's award-win-
and piano stylings also have been part
ning Jazz Ensemble I.
of recordings that spotlight other jazz
During two summer breaks, Cohan
artists. He wrote four tracks for the
full scholarships from Blue
Ramsey Lewis CD
Note Records to study at a jazz insti-
and was the primary arranger on
tute at Skidmore College in New York,
Lewis' Appassionata.

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