JACOB H. CARRUTHERS FOR INNER CITY STUDIES
Coco Elysses hails from Robbins, Illinois and has been performing since the age of eight locally in community theatre. Coco also began her musical studies with clarinet and viola. During her matriculation at Saint Augustines College, also where the famed Delany sisters of Having Our Say were born and raised, in Raleigh, North Carolina, she turned down an opportunity to run track and opted for a much needed scholarship with the concert band where she was introduced to classical percussion. Coco is a percussionist, vocalist, arranger, lyricist and songwriter. Coco was a member of Samana (a musical ensemble), who was the first all female ensemble to perform at the famed Chicago Jazz Festival. Samana was featured in Chicagos Steppenwolfs Traffic series and performed for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at her 50th birthday celebration in Chicago.
Recently, Coco opened for The Temptations and Mint Condition at the Country Club Hills Theatre. Other credits include several Showfolk productions at ETA, where she also made her main stage debut in Food for the Gods (directed by Paul Carter Harrison), Bailiwick Theatre, Chicago Dramatists Workshop, Heathworks, and MPAACTs production of Other World Lovers, Continuum-Visions from Yetunde, and Vital Signs. Coco is also a voice-over artist and can be heard at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago in the Skywatchers of Africa exhibit. Cocos voice can also be heard on spots for BET, BlackVoices.com, McDonalds, IN and OUT Burger and several other companies.
Cocos introduction to Chicagos Theatre scene began at ETA Creative Arts Foundation, one of the few historical African American owned theatres, in several children shows. Cocos last theatrical appearance was in The Chicago Theatre Company production of Love Talk. She also appeared at Organic Theatre in The Old Settler, where she received a Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination for Best Featured actress in a drama, that same production moved to The New American Theatre in Rockford, Illinois. Coco also appeared in the Chicago Theatre Company, Black Theatre Alliance Award-winning, and Jeff Nominated production of Shakin the Mess Outta Misery. Cocos Sound Design credits include Having Our Say, Pill Hill, at CTC and Doo Listers Blues for The New Onyx Theatre.
During Coco's four years in Los Angeles, she was quickly signed as a voice-over artist with William Morris Agency. She also played percussion with latin rock artist Santino. During this time Coco gained fluency in Spanish leading to her travels to Cuba, and Chile. During a month visit in Santiago, Chile, she recorded with EMI band, Raiza on their second album entitled, Latino Soul. Her discography includes Samana,
The Tracey King Project, AACM 35th Anniversary Concert Series, Hector Silveira- The Young Voice of Cuban Music, Nicole Mitchell- African Rising, Raiza-Latino Soul and her self titled demo, Coco Elysses, Wildflower. Coco has performed musically with Nicole Mitchell, Hamid Drake, Corey Wilkes, Yuri Hevia, Maia, Hector Silveira, David Boykins, Bethany Pickens, Maggie Brown, Ann Ward, Shanta Nurullah, Shawn Wallace, Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, La Negra Graciana, Santino and many more. Coco leads El Corazon Negro an Afro-Latin Jazz ensemble. ..
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