One of the most important figures in pre-jazz African-American music, Will Marion Cook, is also one of its better known personalities. As a composer, conductor, performer, teacher, and producer, he had his hand in nearly every aspect of the black music of his time and worked with nearly every other important musician in his fields.
Uncompromising and difficult to work with, he still commanded respect from his peers for his abilities and accomplishments.
Duke Ellington called him "The master of all masters of our people."
Although he was classically trained, Cook turned his attention to "ragtime" and helped spread the gospel of black-inspired music through his compositions and musical comedies.
The Will Marion Cook House was designated a National Historic Landmark of New York City on May 11, 1976.
This historic townhouse is a private residence and not open to the public.