Marilyn Cooney - Singer/Pianist/Songwriter

My life began with family singalongs, my father on piano and accordion.  My love affair with the piano began the moment Dad placed my small fingers in C major position. Many years later, most of the songs on my CD, Anything Can Happen in a Life, were born on that family upright, which my mother had shipped to me from New York one Christmas.  Growing up near New York City, I was raised on Broadway tunes, but credit also goes to Debussy, Irving Berlin, Motown, the Kingston Trio, and others whose music became part of me.  I have always tinkered with words, but at 6, lyrics and music converged when my siblings bought me a pawn shop guitar.  As I sang the works of Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Carole King, and Laura Nyro, I learned that everyday experiences could become universal songs.  As a high school English teacher for 32 years, I was privileged to help students find their own writing voices, while they showed me the courage of self-expression.  In the meantime, I attended and led seminars in self-discovery, where I began to write songs.  When I retired, my dear husband encouraged my devotion to music.  My very first Google led to the San Francisco cabaret community, where I encountered musicians who became friends, mentors and colleagues.  It was Barry Lloyd who faithfully transcribed my songs into lead sheets, tweaking a chord here and there for flavor. He also taught me vocal interpretation and some simple ways to accompany myself.  But Barry is the primary pianist on my two audio albums, and as you listen, you will know why his solo cabaret shows are acclaimed nationwide.  Songwriting is a mysterious process.  Sometimes it seems as if out of nowhere, notes and words come flying, and all I have to do is scribble them down before the moment is lost.  Other songs require far more conscious effort, but all are gifts.  I hope that my experiences and observations, collected here in musical form, will speak to you or encourage your own self-expression, for truly, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN A LIFE.

2018 UPDATE! It's been awhile since I have added to my bio.  Lots has happened for me musically since 2010.  I have been performing regularly with Kathy Holly and the Supper Club Six at the Villa d'Este for nine years.  With Dorothy Donnell, Kat Fitzgerald, Debra Mugnani, and Bill Ramos, we bring the everybody's favorite songs to sold-out audiences.  With Dave Miotke on the piano, and Steven Hanson on the drums, it is a very professional show!  We also entertain at the Sausalito Crusing Club and other Bay Area venues.  

I have also done quite a few shows with my friends in the San Francisco music community, such as Joe and Diane Cohen, Lua Hadar, Linda Kosut, Maria Diamond and Dave Austin.  I have entertained many guests at Zingari Jazz Lounge on Union Square.

 I met the gracious and talented Rita Beach and sat in with her and for her at Max's Restaurant in Burlingame.  After many years of working hard at it, I am now accompanying myself at the Bistro SF Grill in Noe Valley, and also at a number of retirement communities and nursing homes.  It is a great joy and privilege to bring music to the residents and staff.  My husband and I have begun singing duets together at private parties, in senior communities, and in great clubs such as Society Cabaret in San Francisco.  It is wonderful to share the musical aspect of our lives!

Singing with John!

Marilyn Cooney Live

My next gigs!

  • 12/24/2018
    Magnolia of Millbrae - Millrae, Ca
     
  • 12/25/2018
    Sunrise of Burlingame - Burlingame, Ca