Richard Cooke is a Grammy award-winning musician who has created a family of instruments that give everyone a way to play beautiful music simply. These instruments have become permanent fixtures in parks all over the world.

Richard spent several years sailing the ocean and doing coral reef research with the Biosphere Foundation. A speaker at our previous Make + Believe event, he was formerly a member of the city council of Moab, Utah. He now makes his home in Durango.


What is your favorite outdoor activity to partake in?

Sailing, hiking—especially in remote areas of Colorado and Utah—and walking through wilderness playing my flute.

How did you first become interested in music outside of the standard symphony hall or school music room?

Learning to play the flute through total improvisation and building outdoor music instruments for a music camp with Paul Winter

What can the TEDxMileHigh community do to help our music scene thrive?

Sponsor community concerts. Organize local music teachers to offer free introductory lessons of their choice to the community once-a-month, which helps teachers promote their offerings and helps members of the community to learn how easy it is to just play. Als0, promote Music Parks in the local communities!

What’s something few people know about you?

I won a Grammy for the Crestone album with the Paul Winter Consort.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh uncontrollably?

I believe in uncontrollable laughter, so I do it daily

When did you last make time for make-believe?

Everyday, enjoying the wonderment of the world

Do you have a favorite TED talk?

“Minding your Mitochondria” by Dr. Terry Wahls