It's a challenge to write about myself without thinking about how people will interpret it. But that's how relationships are built-getting to know someone. So, here goes. Some friends and fans describe me as 'multifarious', having with a wide range of influences and abilities. My sister-in-law calls it "Specialization Through Diversification". Another says, "put James Taylor, Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Dave Grusin and George Duke in a blender, kick back and savor."
Bio Snippets: Born in St. Louis. MO. Attended college in Kansas. Musician and actor in college theater productions. Fast forward to Kansas City: added jazz to the pop repertoire. Also learned photography. Being a singing keyboard player kept me busy in multiple genres as a multi-stylistic multi-instrumentalist with a broad repertoire. Just after moving to Atlanta, a referral from my guitar teacher led to an interview which led to playing keyboards with The Three Degrees ("When Will I See You Again") and Ben E. King ("Stand By Me") on multiple overseas concert performances. That experience confirmed a few things about the importance of being versatile, a quick study, and easy to work with.
Performed in dozens of bands and venues since coming to Atlanta. I've been a "go-to" sideman keyboardist for dance / wedding / corporate bands. While steadily creating my own music, I've been a featured performer at the Decatur Arts Festival two years in a row (2016 & 2017), and a finalist at open mic competitions held at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, and Red Clay Theater in Duluth.
In addition to tuning pianos, solo acoustic performances, gigging, and studio sessions, I'm the front man on vocals and keys for the Weekend Getaway Band, a 7pc group with a 3pc horn section. Click here to take a peek!
TESTIMONIALS: Read what others have said...
AS A PERFORMER... "Allen Cook is a skilled musician who exudes positive energy. Whether playing original songs or putting his on spin on another artist's tune, his performance is infectious and conveys his love of music. Cook's work is not all rainbows and sunshine but even when he sings about hard times, he communicates the promise of hope, love and togetherness." - Denise Funk, Decatur Library Coordinator, Dekalb County Public Library
"Allen Cook performed at the Alive After Five Kennesaw Business Association event at Dry County Brewing Company in Aug 2018. Not only was he a phenomenal performer with an incredible voice, but he also played to the crowd. Allen is extremely professional and prepared, as he came several days early for sound check and a site walk through. It was a pleasure having him perform and we would consider booking him for future events! To anyone looking for a talented musician, don't hesitate to book Allen Cook!" - Jenna Weber, Tasting Room Manager, Dry County Brewing Co., Kennesaw
IN THE STUDIO... "Allen Cook is a great multi-instrumental musician that is very easy to work with. He brings a good energy with him whenever it's time to work on music. I've witnessed him go smoothly from saxophone to keyboards to guitar. He's very quick to pick up on what you want musically. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with him. I highly recommend him for your project." - Steve Ryan, singer songwriter
A BRIDE & GROOM WROTE... "Dear Allen, my wife and I were reflecting on our wedding day and recalling the significant role you played, literally and figuratively. In our initial meeting you demonstrated the qualities we sought and believed to be essential for a successful event. You were prompt, cordial, articulate and organized. We were impressed with your knowledge and repertoire of music, especially for wedding ceremonies. You listened to our wishes and understood exactly what we needed. Our wedding day was complete! Thank you again for your leadership and coordination of the beautiful music rendered at our wedding. May you bring the same joy to countless other couples as you brought to us. With Richest Blessings, Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Myles Jones." [note from AC: the bride wanted a particular melody played on the (alto) saxophone as she entered the building, which I was able to provide; piano keyboard music was then played for the reception; it was a beautiful event].
AS A TEACHER... "Hello Allen. It's been a long time. Hope you and your family are well. I thought about looking you up some time back to let you know that our son Andrew (who you taught for a few years) recently took a class at Emory University. He told me one day that had he not had you for a piano teacher, he would have been completely lost in the class, which he summarized as being one of the two hardest classes he has taken in 3 years at Emory! He has continued to play the keyboard and still uses all you taught him to pick out some very pretty pieces. I just thought people aren't told they are appreciated nearly enough, so I thought I'd tell you that you did a great job with him and we appreciate it! - Deborah Newport
"Taking guitar lessons with you has been a great experience for my twin boys. You've given them a solid foundation for a lifetime of making music, especially sight reading, which was important to me. Thanks Allen! - Julie Bullard
"Before having you as a teacher, Chris was ready to quit playing sax. He says you make learning fun. It's nice to know when your teen wants to go to music lessons because he thinks his instructor is a cool person. Thanks so much. God bless you." - Patsy
AS A PIANO TECHNICIAN... "My two daughters began taking piano lessons. After their first lesson, they informed me that our piano didn't sound like their teacher's piano. Their instructor referred me to Mr. Cook. I had Mr. Cook come tune the piano while the girls were at school. I must say I was very impressed with his knowledge and appreciated him taking the time to educate me about our particular piano. He also discussed essential maintenance guidelines as well as future upgrade options. He completed the tuning in less time than promised. Even I noticed the difference in the way it sounded! The real test was when my daughters came home and played it. They were so excited about the new sound! Thank you so much." - Andrea McKnight
"At all times professional and courteous, Allen Cook offers a thorough piano tuning service. His passion for music is evident as he works meticulously to ensure that your instrument is producing its best sound, and that you understand each step of his process. You could not entrust a most cherished possession into more caring hands." - Andrea Marchese
"Man, it's so easy to listen to you. Music just pours out of you so easily." Carl Donohue
"For the past umpteen years you've been my personal motivation to ALWAYS, as in NEVER, stop exploring music." Derek Gillespie
"Allen, you are truly amazing." Cassandra Wesley
"Keep doing it, it's what you were meant to do." Cliff