Kelan Phil Cohran, influential Chicago composer-bandleader, dies at 90
Kelan Phil Cohran is seen playing his harp on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in an exhibit at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago celebrating the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White studied with him.
The globally influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) was co-founded by him.
And generations of musicians drew inspiration from the pioneering work of Chicago composer and multi-instrumentalist Kelan Phil Cohran. He died Wednesday at the University of Chicago Hospital at 90, said his son Tycho Cohran.
"He was a major contributor to the whole structure and the idea" of the AACM, said Muhal Richard Abrams, another co-founder of an organization that changed the course of music starting in 1965.