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Todd Coolman

Professor of Music

Two-time Grammy Award–winning bassist Todd Coolman is among the more in-demand musicians on the New York music scene today. Since moving to New York in 1978, he has performed and/or recorded with a virtual “who’s who” of jazz artists including Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Tommy Flanagan, Ahmad Jamal, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, and numerous others. Coolman enjoyed a 25-year stint with the James Moody Quartet and continues to actively perform today with an impressive array of artists including Jon Faddis, Charles McPherson, and Renee Rosnes.

Coolman has released four CDs as a leader, Tomorrows, Lexicon, Perfect Strangers, and Collectables. He has also written two books, The Bass Tradition and The Bottom Line.  In addition to his busy performing schedule, Coolman is a jazz educator. He is a professor of music in the jazz studies program in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College (SUNY), a program that he headed for 10 years. He was selected for the 2001–03 Doris and Carl Kempner Distinguished Professorship at Purchase and has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In 2010, Coolman was appointed director of the Skidmore Jazz Institute. In addition to being a visiting lecturer at the Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen, Netherlands, he is also in demand as a clinician and lecturer at universities throughout the world and is frequently sought after as a writing and research consultant for jazz history and CD liner-note projects.

Research Interests


Representative Courses

  • Purchase Jazz Orchestra
  • Purchase Jazz Combos
  • Private Study in Jazz Acoustic Bass


The Bass Tradition

The Bottom Line

Numerous musical liner notes for recordings

Exhibitions / Performances

Appearances in New York City at Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Blue Note, Iridium, Birdland, Small’s. Mezzrow, Jazz Standard, 92nd St. Y, Symphony Space, and numerous other jazz venues in New Youk City and around the world.

Jazz Festival Appearances:  Atlanta Jazz Festival, Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, Jamaica Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival, Jazz At Ravinia, Playboy Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Festival International De Jazz De Montreal, Saratoga Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz, Aarhus International Jazz Festival, Molde International Jazz Festival, Jazz Port Townsend, Caramoor Jazz Festival, Marciac Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Celebration, JVC Jazz Festival Newport, Chicago Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Jazzfest Berlin