On Originations, Ryan Cohan brings his broad spectrum of musical influences and sensibilities across multiple genres into focus through a personal lens in his most compelling musical statement to date.  With the support of a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works commission (his third), Cohan penned Originations – a stunning work of six integrally linked yet independently standing compositions scored for an eleven-piece jazz chamber ensemble. The narrative driving the music boldly illuminates and affirms the vital human and spiritual connections between disparate traditions and ideologies. Featuring a dynamic symbiosis of Middle Eastern and North African musical themes, Western classical music elements, modern jazz and impressionistic harmonic colors and improvisation, Originations blurs its diverse stylistic ingredients to create a vibrant sonic tapestry woven in Cohan’s distinctive voice.


(Geof Bradfield, Amanda Grimm, Hope Shephard DeCelle, James Cammack, RC, Victoria Moreira, Michael Raynor, Naomi Culp, Tito Carrillo, John Wojciechowski)

Had an AMAZING time playing Originations with my jazz chamber ensemble last weekend at the Chicago Jazz Festival to an electric crowd of about 10,000 enthusiastic listener’s on Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion Stage! It was an honor to perform on a bill with Ben Wendel’s Seasons project, Christian McBride and Cecile McLorin Savant about which the Chicago Tribune wrote: “The other high point of Saturday evening’s lineup belonged to Chicago composer-pianist Ryan Cohan … ORIGINATIONS surely places Cohan in the first rank of contemporary jazz composers.”

Originations album will be available in the spring of 2020 on Origin Records. Stay tuned for CD release dates and other information coming soon !!

On Being American / Jazz: Ryan Cohan’s ‘The River’ #7   © 2018 Papers, oil, flashe, MSA gel. 42”x 63” 

The jazz inspiration of Delaware-based artist Ellen Priest’s dynamic abstract series “On Being American / Jazz: Ryan Cohan’s The River” is on display from March 28 to June 6, 2019 at the galleries of “the first church of jazz,” Saint Peter’s Church (54th Street at Lexington in Midtown Manhattan).

For her multi-year project, Priest reimagines Chicago-based pianist and composer Ryan Cohan’s celebrated The River suite as physical, visual art, full of color, open for viewers to see the music’s movement, space, rhythms, harmonies, and improvisation. “The River offers me rich musical spaces and emotional content to work with,” according to Priest, representing both a “coming home” and an engagement “with the contradictions in America, especially [its] persistent difficulty embracing the diversity that defines it and makes it thrive.” The exhibition will culminate in Priest and Cohan giving an artist and composer talk/mini-performance about the creation of The River art and jazz on Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Peter’s.

(photo: Ryan Bennett)

Happy New Year! Very pleased to start 2019 with the release of this interview I did with Mike Jeffers for Chicago Jazz Magazine. We discuss my approach to composition, how I got started in my career, my upcoming new album and much more. Click on the above cover photo to watch the complete interview.

RC ‘Originations’ Ensemble – Live at Hyde Park Jazz Festival 9/29/18 (photo: Harvey Tillis)

Had an AMAZING experience performing ‘Originations’ with my 10-piece jazz chamber ensemble at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival (Reva and David Logan Center Concert Hall) this past weekend. The set was received with a standing ovation from a capacity crowd and called a “high point” of the festival by the Chicago Tribune. It was an excellent sendoff to the studio where I am currently recording this project with an extraordinary group of musicians – John Wojciechowski, Geof Bradfield, Tito Carrillo, James Cammack, Michael Raynor and the KAIA String Quartet. The album is slated for a 2019 release. Can’t wait to share this music with you! Stay tuned…