2016 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Carla Cook

The Taft Museum of Art and the Robert S. Duncanson Society have selected jazz vocalist Carla Cook as the 2016 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the program.

A Detroit native, Cook is influenced by diverse forms of music. As a result, her repertoire encompasses a wide spectrum of jazz influences from Ragtime to Bebop, as well as elements of R&B, European classical, Motown, Blues, and Gospel. During her formative years, Cook studied voice, piano, and string bass.

Cook’s career as a solo and or/featured artist encompasses more than 30 recordings during her lifetime. Cook received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category for her debut recording, It’s All About Love, and was awarded the AFIM Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal. Cook also recorded two more highly acclaimed albums for MaxJazz, Dem Bones and Simply Natural. Her albums continue to receive critical acclaim.

“What I find most impressive about Carla Cook is her commitment to preserving the legacy of jazz, while continuing to expand her repertoire,” said Taft Director of Education Timothy Brown. “Her passion is equally matched by her commitment to education, which is a key component of the residency.”

“We are delighted that Carla has been named the 2016 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence,” said Taft Director/CEO Deborah Emont Scott. “We are proud to recognize the 30th year of this exciting program. The Taft’s dedication to a program of this magnitude reflects its commitment to African American artistic excellence and the Museum’s long-term effort to reaching all audiences.”

Cook received a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Northeastern University in 1985, and in 1990, settled in New York to build her career as a jazz vocalist.