Jeff Cohran brings a wealth of real-life experience to his position as new instructor of music business for the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff Cohran to our faculty and our music business program,” said Dr. Kevin Sanders, Director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. “His passion for teaching and experience with developing multidisciplinary artists and managing global tours will prove to be an extraordinary asset for our students. We’re excited to see the impact he makes.”
Since 2009, the well-traveled Cohran has served as the tour and production manager for Oscar-winning and Grammy-nominated Atlantic Records artist Janelle Monáe.
“I was presented with a great opportunity to go around the world a few times and handle all the logistics of the tour,” he said. “I’m so thankful that I was able to serve as both a tour and production manager, something you don’t see too often at this level in my area.”
During his time working alongside Monáe, Cohran produced eight world tours and managed shows at an array of world-famous venues including Saturday Night Live, Coachella, Glastonbury Festival, The BET Awards, and the White House.
“I have been really inspired and impressed with what’s going on in the music community in Memphis,” Cohran said. “I have some other Memphian colleagues working in LA and Boston who have recently returned to the city, and when I saw the job opening at The University of Memphis, I knew it was serendipitous. Teaching at a collegiate level has long been on my bucket list and I can’t wait to get started.”
Cohran will return to his hometown of Memphis as a leader in his field this fall when he joins the school of music faculty to help build the next generation of music business majors.
“I’m really excited to give some of these students the opportunities that I never had,” Cohran said. “In so many fields, you sometimes see students graduate with their degree and have no idea where to go from there.
In the classroom, Cohran will aim to prepare students for the ever-changing music industry by helping plot their own unique career paths.
“Music industry students, more than many others in college, are given the opportunity to ‘choose their own adventure’ in the field,” he said. “That’s the beauty of working in music and entertainment: We are able to build these unique tool belts as writers, managers, producers and engineers. You can be a jack of all trades, and a master, too.”
Cohran earned his bachelor degree in journalism with a minor in political science from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2006. He has served as Vice President of the Memphis NAACP Youth Council, Vice President of the NAACP Tennessee Youth and College Division, and President of the UTK NAACP college chapter. In 2006, he was awarded the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Gene Mitchell Gray Award for promoting diversity on campus. He is the founder of The UT Black Issues Conference, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2020.
“We’re excited for Jeff Cohran to join the music business program,” said Alandis Brassel, Assistant Professor of Music Business. “He has deep roots in the Memphis music scene, success in the music industry as a creative and tour manager on a global scale, and a strong desire to develop the industry’s next leaders. He has the perfect combination of passion, competence, and service ingrained in the program’s culture, and we’re glad to have him on board.”
Learn more about the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music’s Bachelor of Arts in Music Business.
Read more about Cohran in the Daily Memphian.