Kelan Phil Cohran is one of the most important links to the historical evolution of African American music living today. Soon to turn 90 years young on May 6, 2017, this benevolent wellspring of knowledge has inspired millions of lives through his music, as well as indirectly through all of those other great musicians that he has taught or directly influenced. The musical legacy of artist that have been mentored
By Phil Cohran is extraordinarily impressive. The likes of such luminaries as Maurice White, Chaka Khan,
Oscar Brown Jr., Don Myrick, Louis Satterfield, Derf Reklaw, Gene Easton, Master Henry Gibson, Pete Cosey, Bernard Mixon, Harold Atu Murray, Val Grey Ward, Darlene Blackburn, Aaron Dodd, Bobo Oscar Brown III, Sherry Scott, Rita Warford, Avreeayl Ra, Willie Woods, Delaney Pugh, Julian Swain, Najwa,
Mark Williams, Hypnotic, Sun Drummer, AACM (association for the advancement of creative musicians), as well as myself, Kahil El’Zabar.
Not only did Bro. Phil teach us all music, he also shared with each of us his deep understanding of life and nature, astrology, health awareness and nutrition, and Afro diaspora history and culture. This magnificent Brother was so far ahead of his time! He was teaching all of us 21st-century lifestyle lessons
Back in the 20th century. He founded and directed the Afro-Arts Theater, where he had everyone you can imagine come through and perform for or speak to the community, giants such as Amiri Baraka, Curtis Mayfield, Dick Gregory, Calvin Lockhart, Ben Vereen, Sammy Davis Jr. , Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Harry
Belafonte, the Black Panther Party, Haki Madhabuti, to name a few. Phil’s cultural vision was so profound, that it made him an international legend! He played trumpet in the band of the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, and was revered by dignitaries like Jesse Jackson Jr. Mayor Harold Washington, Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, Dr. Carol Adams and Dr. Margaret Burroughs.
Kelan Phil Cohran is one of the last living architects of the Black Arts movement. At 90 years young, this cultural visionary is due all the praise and acknowledgment that we the people can bestow upon him!
It is time for all of us to come together and give this great, culture loving elder his props for all that he has freely given us! Let's all come together on Monday, May 8 for this monumental occasion to give praise to a truly creative genius and cultural giant! This rare moment in history, that we are all blessed with, is opportunity for all of us to properly give thanks to Baba Kelan Phil Cohran while he is still amongst us