official website


Coco Elysses- Actress/Composer/Educator/Musician/Producer/Writer

 
EDUCATION

2012               National University, MFA Creative Writing (screenwriting)
1991               Saint Augustine’s College, B.A. English, minor, Spanish

NOTABLE TEACHERS AND MENTORS

Percussion     Juan Fuentes, Clifton Robinson, Robert Fernandez,
                       Charles Brown  (classical percussion), John Santos (Master Class), Giovanni Hildago (Master Class),
Acting             Ron O.J. Parson, Rick Plastina, Robin Stanton,
Dance            Tommy Gomez
Martial Arts    Tony Roberts (Pa Qua & Hsing-I)
Writing            Paul Carter Harrison
Viola               Samuel Williams (Savoirfaire)

NOTABLE INSTALLATIONS/FEATURED INTERVIEWS/BOOKS

1999               Black Women and Music- More than the Blues, University of Illinois Press

2001               Skywatchers of Africa, Adler Planetarium, Chicago (voice-over)

2004               A Doula Story-documentary (voice-over)
2006               Jazz- A documentary, (musician)
2010               99 New Poems- A Contemporary Anthology (featured poet)
2010               America Is…Personal Essays for Social Justice (featured writer)
2015               Free at First- The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musician 50th Anniversary                     

                         (exhibit) DuSable Museum of African American History Chicago, IL

2015               The Freedom Principle (exhibit) the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, IL

AWARDS/CONTEST

2014               Semi finalist NYTVF/Lifetime Television Unscripted Show Pipeline
1999               Jeff Award Nomination, Best Ensemble, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, Chicago Theatre Company
1999               Black Theatre Alliance Award, Best Ensemble, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, Chicago Theatre Company
1999               Black Theatre Alliance Award Nomination, Best Featured Actress, The Old Settler

 DISCOGRAPHY

1995               Samana, Samana Storywiz Records
1999               Tracy King & the Cushities- Looking through a mirror darkly, Halal Music
2002               Black Earth Ensemble, Africa Rising, Dreamtime Records
2002               Coco Elysses, Wildflower, Starchild Lovechild Publishing
2002               Hector Silveira, The Young Voice of Cuban Music, Salsa Asé Publishing
2004               Raiza, Latino Soul, EMI

LEADER/ FOUNDER
2005-present    El Corazon Negro-Afro-Latin music comining South, Central American folk music with Latin Jazz and world music concepts.
2006-present    Coco Elysses Quintet-Latin Jazz Ensemble with a multi-cultural and creative compositional twist.
2007-2008        Sambatico- Afro-Brazilian jazz ensemble.

MUSIC COLLABORATIONS
2007               Stiletto Entertainment Crow’s Nest Band-Holland America Cruise line
2006-present KRC Ensemble (All female Jazz/Blue/Swing) ensemble
2006               AACM Great Black Music Ensemble
2005-present Hip-Chicks Jazz (All female Jazz Big Band)

SELECTED PERFORMANCES
1995-1996     Black Writers Conference, Chicago State University, Chicago, IL
1996               Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
1998               First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's 50th Birthday Celebration, Chicago, IL
1998               African Festival of the Arts, Chicago, IL
1999               Two Harbors Folk Festival, Two Harbors, MN
1999               Venetian Festival, St. Joseph, MN
1999               Chicago Music Awards, Chicago, IL
1999               Association for the Advancement of Creative Musician's 30th Anniversary Concert, Chicago, IL
1999               World Islamic Conference, Chicago, IL
2000               Chicago State University's Honors Convocation, Chicago, IL
2007               Navy Pier's African American History Concert Series
2007               Institute for Positive Living Annual Gala Concert
2008               Millennium Park Chicago, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL
2009               Insolent Noise Festival, Pisa, Italy
2008               Millennium Park Chicago, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL
2009               Insolent Noise Festival, Pisa, Italy
2011               Miyumi Project, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Chicago, I
2011               Taiko Legacy 8, Featured Guest Artist, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
2012               You Can’t Hide (one woman show) MPAACT solo jam series
2013               JBM-Images Beyond - a theatrical concert works by Joan Beard Mitchell and Nicole Mitchell, Chicago, IL
2013               Nina Rae – vocalist album release concert, The Castle, Chicago, IL
2014               Chicago Modern Orchestra, MLK Celebration/AACM Great Black Music Ensemble, South Shore Cultural Center
2014               Chicago Modern Orchestra, I’m a Soul Man- music of Curtis Mayfield, Issac Hayes & Marvin Gaye, Dominican University, Chicago, IL
2014               Taiko Legacy 11, Featured Guest Artist, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL
2015               AACM 50th Anniversary Concert, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2015               Women of the AACM- Concert and Panel discussion, DuSable Museum of African American History
2015               Chicago Modern Orchestra, Sunyata: Towards Absolute Emptiness, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago, IL
2015               AACM 50th Anniversary Concert, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
2015               AFTERWORD- Film Instillation for George Lewis’ Opera
2015               AFTERWORD, Opera, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
2015               EMPIRE (Television Series) Musician
2015               Frankfurt, Germany Jazz Festival, Generation NOW Ensemble, AACM
2015               Made in Chicago Poznan Jazz Festival, Voices Heard Ensemble

UNIVERSITY PRESENTATIONS
University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI
Trinity Christian College, Palos Hills, IL

TEACHING
2002-2005    John Robert Powers School-Voice over instructor/Acting Instructor
2005-2007    Open Book Program-Teaching Artist
2007-2011    DuSable Leadership Academy-Spanish/Acting/Speech Instructor
2008-2011    DJ/Mentor WHPK Radio 88.5-Host of Pushing the envelope

VOLUNTEER WORK
2006-2011    Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians Dean of School/Member
2010             DuSable Museum of African American History-Advisory Committee-The African Presence in Mexico
2013-present Chicago Volunteer Doulas

VIDEO GAMES
Saints Row
EverQuest II
Watchdogs

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS

1998-present AEA-Actors Equity Association

1996-present AFTRA- SAG American Federation for Radio and Television Artist/ Screen Actors Guild
2006-present AACM-Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
2011-present NAST- National Association of Schools of Theatre

2016-AFM-American Federation of Musicians