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Curtis Macdonald

Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor

Curtis Macdonald

Curtis Macdonald is a Canadian-born saxophonist, composer and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2007 he graduated cum laude from The New School University and immediately became faculty. His first album, Community Immunity was released on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music label in 2011. The Curtis Macdonald Group, has, toured across Canada, New York, and parts of Europe, and this year is celebrating the release of the latest recording, Twice Through The Wall, a 21-minute, self-released EP featuring David Virelles on piano, Jeremy Viner on tenor sax, Adam Jackson on drums, and Chris Tordini on Bass. The vibrancy of the band’s music, based heavily on Curtis’ concepts and compositions, showcases an original, fresh and organic sound while at the same time illustrates a sense of ease. Curtis has been informed by several artistic practices as part of his quest for a broader context in which to present his work. Staying close to one of the most desirable artistic communities in North America, The Banff Centre for the Arts, has unmistakably left a lasting impact on his philosophy on the creation of music. Curtis says of his music, “The exchanges that I have with acupuncturists, meditators, chefs, musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, sculptors, engineers, and graphic designers whom I’ve collaborated with over the years continually motivates the music I produce.” Curtis’ influences can be also be heard on several of his original scores for modern dance, such as a 2013 commission for Aszure Barton’s “LIFT” by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and in Selected Sketches 2009 – 2012, where he organizes composition, improvisation and sound art, drawing inspiration not only from traditional approaches, but also transcendental and other philosophical models. ...
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“Twice Through The Wall has a bursting immediacy… this great-sounding EP leaves you wanting more while satisfying as a self-contained work.” -JazzTimes

“Ensemble-wise, the language picks up right where Community Immunity, the leader’s excellent 2001 debut, left off… But rather than stretch wildly, [Macdonald] focuses on the lyrical…” -The New York Jazz Record

“The pieces on Community Immunity are like little puzzles with moving parts that fit together in the strangest ways. The moving parts lock in with uncanny seamlessness.” Dave Douglas

“Community Immunity is much more than your average modern jazz album… It is a study in compression and expansion, compositional detail and improvisational freedom.” The New York Jazz Record

“A bracing listen from a musical architect who is as distinctive and precise as he is young… If you’re an open-eared listener with a yen for forward- thinking music, you’ll find yourself wanting to crack Community Immunity‘s code.” Ottawa Citizen

“Maybe it’s the odd time signatures, maybe the strange timbres or the meandering compositions. Something sets Curtis Macdonald’s debut album apart and challenges you to keep coming back.” Rochester City Newspaper

“With Community Immunity, Curtis Macdonald establishes himself as one who stands apart from the rest…” All About Jazz

“A dynamic effort that succeeds in opening more doors with each listen.” Downbeat Magazine

“Macdonald explores some wholly unique territory…” JazzTimes Magazine

“Imaginative and daring…” Pittsburgh Tribune

“A sleekly modern band.” NY Times

  • When Dreams Come True

    Prestige
    2013
  • Manhattan

    Prestige
    2011
  • Community Immunity

    Greenleaf Music
    2011
  • With Every Intimate Breath

    Prestige
    2010

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