WINNER Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition ('04)
2nd PLACE Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase ('12)
3rd PLACE Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Competition ('12)
FINALIST Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase ('12 & '04)
FINALIST Sisters Folk Fest Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest ('09, '10)
Cary is a whimsical performer, and an award winning songwriter. She plays the guitar and piano. In 2010, she added ukulele to her repertoire bringing about her reinvention as a solo artist after touring for 8 years in a duo with Tom Prasada-Rao. On her two latest albums, Zuzu's Petals and Pink Umbrella, Cary’s songs are light and quirky in nature, drawing you in with pop melodies and then hitting you over the head with lyrics that are deceptively deep. Guitars in the Classroom calls Cary “the Anne LaMott of songwriting…except she can get to the heart of things in 3 minutes instead of 200 pages.”
She is also a dynamic teacher. Cary spent the summer of 2014 teaching songwriting to high school students at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Dick Siegel, Interlochen Program Director calls Cary "an outstanding educator. An accomplished songwriter and performer herself, Cary’s curriculum is innovative and thorough. She engages students with intelligence, warmth and humor, quickly earning their respect and affection." Former Interlochen student, Liv Greene, from Washington DC says, "Cary Cooper managed to unlock parts of my brain that I didn't even know existed, helping me find my creativity underneath all the overly- organized thoughts. She opened up a whole new world of tools, tips and tricks for me, all while cultivating an amazing creative community that supports and inspires."
In early 2011, Cary was spotted by the producers of Troubadour, TX, a new TV docu/drama series that debuted nationwide in September, 2011 on the CW network. Along with several other Texas songwriters, Cary was cast on the first season of the show.
September 2012 saw Cary launch a Youtube channel called RealWomenReal Songs featuring herself and 13 of her favorite women writers who are committed to writing a song a week from a common prompt for an entire year. The collaborative features writers such as Amy Speace, Abbie Gardner (Red Moly), Raina Rose, Mira Stanley (The Sea The Sea) Nicolette Good and Carolann Solebello. This group (Season 2) now has 21 songwriters featuring Terri Hendrix, Tracy Grammer, Sara Hickman, Alice Peacock and Ellis among others. You can see their videos on Youtube and Facebook.
Cary is the proud winner of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition, 2nd place winner of the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Showcase, 3rd place finalist in the Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Competition and a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist.
"I love great musical surprises, and Troubadour,TX has allowed me to discover some really significant singer-songwriter surprises. And one of those is Cary Cooper.
From the moment I met her, she was singing an original composition that was one of the most delightful surprises in my own personal journey of making music...
...The song was "Suzanne", and from that song on, Cary has continued to impress me not only with her original and unique lyrics, but with her enchanting, one-of-a-kind musical compositions that absolutely catch you by surprise, and then never leave you alone.
A very special singer-songwriter with her best songs yet to come."
Michael Blanton, President of Be Music and Entertainment, Nashville
(Launched the careers of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith)