Described as a "modern-day Renaissance man", Coty Cockrell brings to the table a wealth of artistic expertise and diverse life experience. As a pianist, vocalist, composer, knitter, painter, teacher, actor, music director, multi-instrumentalist, and online radio personality, Coty's unique brand of creativity shines through myriad facets of artistic expression and collaboration. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Coty began singing and playing piano at the age of four. From that point onward, his adventures have included competitive show choir, world-class touring drum and bugle corps, a college professor, acting in professional theatrical productions from Florida to Vermont, and even knitting a sweater from yarn that he spun himself, directly from the sheep.
Coty earned his Bachelor's degree from Jacksonville State University in classical piano performance with a minor in art, and completed his Master's degree in jazz composition and vocal jazz from North Carolina Central University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was recently invited to perform in the 2012 Fiji International Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as international jazz festivals in Canada and South Africa, and in 2015 crafted a nation-wide concert/workshop series in conjunction with the US Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In addition to his vocal jazz experience, Coty is also heavily involved in musical theater, having worked on several regional and off-Broadway productions. Some professional credits include Allegro, Ragtime, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Songs for a New World, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
His passion for creative collaboration has led him to the dance world, where he is often found accompanying ballet classes at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Academy East, and the Joffrey Ballet School. He is also the principal company pianist with Dance Theatre of Harlem, with whom he has had the pleasure of touring to Austria, Italy, Canada, and Israel.
Aside from performing in jazz clubs, theaters, and ballet halls, Coty maintains a small teaching studio, regularly holding workshops on song interpretation, repertoire building, and auditioning. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to help students "find their voice", and incorporates integral principles of music (such as ear training, music theory, and sight-singing) into his methodology. His students have gone on to excel as professional performers in national touring shows, as well as industry staples like Disney and Carnival cruise lines.
Incorporating his eclectic, bluesy-cabaret sound with formal classical and jazz training, Coty Cockrell is a warm and inviting storyteller with a soul far older than he realizes.
He currently lives in the neighborhood of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, New York.