Featured Alumni – Cooper Schlegel

A recent post quoted Victor Wooten’s mama via his website: “What does the world need with just another good musician? We have plenty. What the world needs are good people!”  – I can say with confidence that Cooper Schlegel  is one of those good people, (and a good musician too!) I’m truly grateful to know him as a person and musician, and know I can speak for everyone involved with the conference, when I say, we look forward to welcoming Cooper back to Madison and to RDYB as an alumni Clinician this year! 

Since recently graduating UW Madison (as one of Richard’s last bass students before retirement) Cooper has, since moved back to Washington State and is carving out his place in the scene in Olympia. He is actively performing, composing music, and maintains a uniquely creative radio show. 

Many of you may know Cooper from his work with the Richard Davis Young Bassists’ (RDYB) Sibling Ensemble. The comedy act about the bus driver… the percussion toys… Last year, after the sibling band’s last piece, “Don’t Give Up”, there was not a dry eye in the audience. If you saw that performance- you know what I mean. I will never forget Cooper’s senior recital – a similar experience. The intensity of feeling in reaction to the vulnerability and honesty of a (semi-autobiographical) duo performance art work explored a depth of emotion that only art can. I think that pretty much sums Cooper up better than I, or any traditional musician bio can really say.

Alumni Clinician - Cooper Schlegel




2019 Featured Alumni

This year Paul Kowert will be featured as a distinguished alumni for the Richard Davis Foundation’s 26th annual bass conference. We are very pleased that he can make it back!

Paul Kowert – 2019 Featured Alumni

Paul Kowert grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. Upon graduating from The Curtis Institute of Music in 2009, he joined the band Punch Brothers and moved to Brooklyn, NY. Since then they have made three albums, contributed music to “The Hunger Games,” “This is Forty,” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” appeared on Austin City Limits and the Coen Brothers’ concert documentary “Another Day, Another Time,” and various other fun things.

In addition to playing with Punch Brothers, Paul has toured and recorded with Mike Marshall’s Big Trio, David Rawlings, and Hawktail. In recent years, he has been a frequent band member on the radio show “Live From Here.” Paul lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Video clip of Unless, the debut album from Hawktail, Paul’s band with Jordan Tice, Brittany Haas and Dominick Leslie.

Get to know Paul & what he’s listening to more thought his curated Spotify playlist, “Picker’s Primer.”