Actress - Musician - Composer - Screenwriter - Conductor - Doula - Director -Producer - DJ
Coco Elysses, a modern-day renaissance woman hails from Robbins, Illinois and is a producer, musician, actress, voice-over artist, screenwriter and poet. She is the Chairwoman of the venerable AACM (The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Coco completed her MFA in creative writing and was a published poet before graduation. During their second season, she was a featured musician in the critically claimed FOX drama Empire.
In 2014, Coco was a semi-finalist in Lifetime Television Unscripted Development
Pipeline. Coco’s voice can be heard at the Adler Planetarium in the instillation, Skywatchers of Africa. Coco’s voice can also be heard in, Saint’s Row video game, EverQuest II and Watchdogs. In 2018 she won the ALTA Award for Best Original Music in a Play and the 2019 non-equity Jeff Award for Best Original Music in a Play for Tilikum, the first for an African American woman. Coco composed music and performed as an actress in Baltimore Center Stage’s touring mobile unit, Antigone as Tiresias.
Coco was a featured actress in George E. Lewis’ film, Afterword via Fantasia and in the
opera of the same name at The Museum of Contemporary Art. She performed at the Frankfurt, Germany Jazz Festival with Generation Now of the AACM and at the Made in Chicago Jazz Festival in Poznan, Poland with Voice Heard- a collective of women musicians of the AACM. Coco was a featured actress on Chicago PD and a featured musician on Chicago Med.
She appeared as an actress in the Midwest premier of Detroit 67’ at Northlight Theatre directed by Ron O.J. Parsons.
Coco was also a featured musician in the book, Black Women and Music: More than
The Blues, documenting historical female musicians. Coco performed with the Great Black Music Ensemble of the AACM in Pisa, Italy for The Insolent Noise Festival, at Millennium Park Chicago, The Chicago Blues Festival for the Chicago Jazz Festival. She has also performed with Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. She also performed with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. She was a featured artist in Taiko Legacy 8, 10 & 11 at the Museum of Contemporary Art with Tatsu Aoki, and Tsukasa Taiko, Miyumi Project at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Coco’s Elixir Ensemble has been featured at the Havana Jazz Festival, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Women’s History Month concert series. Coco’s poetry is featured in 99 New Poems: A Contemporary Anthology. Coco is a member of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth SWAY, playing percussion and diddley bow. Black Earth Sway has been featured at Harvard University, San Francisco Jazz Festival and SESC Jazz, Pompeia, Sao Paulo Brazil, South America.
A few of her noted recordings were in Chile, South America, with Raiza, on their CD, Latin Soul-EMI and Nicole Mitchell’s Africa Rising, Skylanding- The music of Yoko Ono by the Miyumi Project. Raw and Alive 1 & 2- Miyumi Project 2018, Resurrection Suite with Carlos Pride and Ben Lamar Gay. Coco is a member of AFTRA-SAG, AEA, AACM and the AFM
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