biography

Keith L. Cooper (born June 8, 1977) is an American percussive-acoustic guitarist, composer, university professor, and author. In 2005 and 2006, he was the chief guitar clinician for the Gospel Music Association in Estes Park, Colorado. He was signed to Reel Loud Records, Appleton, Wisconsin in 2005, where he produced four recognized and international recordings, namely the recordings "Sacred Dance," and "The Hymns."

Cooper was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to Thomas Cooper and Patricia Cooper. During this time, he was exposed to various styles of music, with regard to taking guitar lessons from famed guitarists Tal Farlow, Lucian Nocelli, Tommy Lucia, and Bob Aslanian (teacher of Al Di'Meola.) Keith was exposed at an early age to the trumpet before switching to the guitar at the age of 12. His main musical influences became Steve Morse, Steve Vai, Michael Hedges, Larry Carlton, Adrian Legg, Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Vito Bratta, Chet Atkins, Phil Keaggy, Spyro Gyra, Yanni, and Al Di'Meola.

In 1996, Keith graduated from Lacey high school, after having been the guitarist for the high school jazz band. In 2001, he graduated from Belmont University with a double bachelor's degree in music theory, and music composition. He was also accepted to Belmont University as a graduate student in church music. During this time, Keith toured with Denver and the Mile-high Orchestra, Selah, Jars  of Clay, and even worked with Grammy award-winning acts such as Sheila E, Country – titans, Collin Raye and Clint Black.

In 2004, the Martin Guitar Company sponsored Keith for his upcoming albums and tour schedule. In this same year, Cooper was invited to Athens, Greece to perform at the Summer Olympics. He became a top 10 selling artist on the album "Sacred Dance" in 2006, within the state of Texas on religious radio.

In 2008, he was recognized by the Dallas Morning News, the Topeka Capitol Journal, and several nationally recognized daytime television networks, including Fox news.

In 2011, Keith obtained a master's degree from Criswell college in Dallas, Texas, after serving as a full-time worship minister in two Texas churches.

In 2014, he was asked to be a full-time faculty guitar professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. At this point, Keith continues to teach and challenge young musicians, while holding down an international tour schedule on a yearly basis.

Keith has successfully carved out an astonishing musical niche of his own. His dedication to the guitar is second to none, which is evidenced during his performances. Many testify that Keith's performances are "jaw-dropping" due to his use of alternate tunings and percussive elements on the body of the guitar, coupled with classic and original melodies. The Dallas Morning News hails, "Able to pick with blistering speed, laying down layers of sound with his simple six-string, the Dallas-based Mr. Cooper can keep up with anyone." Shaun Rabb of Fox Television said of Keith, "I was blown away by Keith! His gift of playing the guitar, and I mean the WHOLE guitar, is only surpassed by his love for God, and both are like a bright light shining through him. Listen to his music and be blessed, spend time with him and be better." Premier schools like Baylor University, New Orleans Theological Baptist Seminary, Messiah College, Liberty University, Philadelphia College of Bible, and Criswell College count on Keith when they need a trusted performer for their events. Keith also works with the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas as a performer, clinician, and worship leader.