John Crooks is a bassist, composer, and computer music programmer. His compositions expand the range of forms available to improvisers through use of novel computer-based frameworks. Recent works have used the mathematics of harmony to build real-time periodic forms and projected imagery from free improvisation, related simple harmonic progressions and improvisation to plant growth, and used Afro-Cuban rhythms as a basis for algorithmic accompaniment for improvisers.
As a bandleader, he has composed for and recorded with New Power Trio – which toured nationally (performing at top jazz clubs, universities, and concert series) and recorded three albums – and Crooks Band, a quartet that performed Crooks’ music at The Knitting Factory for which he also recorded two albums.
Freelancing as a studio, orchestra, and jazz musician since 1995, Crooks has performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, in the studio with David Foster and at Warner Brothers Studios, and at many prominent performance spaces, concert series, and clubs across the US.
A 2009 UC Irvine ICIT MFA, Crooks is conducting research on long-term patterns in rhythmic microtiming and improvisational processes in music.
As an educator, John has given master classes at Emory University, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, and other schools. His online course at UC Irvine OpenCourseWare has been nominated for a 2011 OCW ACE award. Every summer he teaches Psychoacoustics, Math, and Creative Computing – an intensive full-time course offered through COSMOS-UC Irvine. In the Music Department, Crooks teaches Musicianship; the department’s required aural and rhythm skills course.