Story by Sooyeon Lee
As a child, Jeremy Cooper was surrounded by art and craftsmanship. His enthusiasm for drawing and his keen eye for aesthetics was influenced by his entrepreneurial parents who supported the family by making and selling paintings, ceramics, woven mandalas, and various forms of wooden art. At the age of thirteen, Jeremy began playing the guitar and the piano. He fell in love with classical music and soon developed an ardent connection with Spanish guitar music in particular.
It was Jeremy's older brother who had owned a custom furniture and cabinet shop that sparked Jeremy's desire to work with wood. He had been working as an auto repair technician at the time and found that that it was natural transitioning from working on cars to working with wood as they both required dexterous hands. To supplement his income during this transition, he worked restoring and tuning pianos, where he honed his woodworking skills, acquired repair techniques and learned more about harmonics, sympathetic vibrations and other factors that bestow quality to the tone of an instrument. Music, art and wood working evolved into the love of crafting wood into an art form that would make music.
Jeremy's vision is to produce guitars that encompass as many of the senses as possible so that each guitar is not only alluring to the ears but to the eyes, hands and nose. Among his favorite descriptions of the musical qualities of his instruments is "they possess growling bases and little angles in the trebles.” Natural colored woods as opposed to dyed woods for the guitar's purflings and other decorative features are used to create an organic piece of art for the eyes. The hands enjoy Jeremy's specialty fretwork that imparts an extraordinary playability, the importance of which is overlooked by most luthiers. Fragrant woods such as Spanish cedar on the inside of the sound box invite the nose to join the experience.
Mr. Cooper has been crafting guitars since 2002. His main focus has been the concert classical guitar, although he also enjoys building flamenco and nylon-string crossover jazz guitars as well as working with clients to design unique, customized instruments. Jeremy was inspired by German builders Mattias Dammann and Gernot Wagner to come up with his own rendition of the double top also known as a composite soundboard, of which he has had great success.
Owners of Jeremy Cooper guitars include Grammy winner Odair Assad of the Assad Brothers and acclaimed native American musician Gabriel Ayala.