Ted Curson

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Ted Curson
Ted Curson.jpg
Ted Curson in Turku, Finland, July 2009
Background information
Born(1935-06-03)June 3, 1935
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedNovember 4, 2012(2012-11-04) (aged 77)
Montclair, New Jersey
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz
Years active1955–2012
LabelsPrestige, Fontana, Atlantic, Freedom, Futura, Marge, Trident, Whynot, Inner City, Chiaroscuro
Associated actsCharles Mingus, Spirit of Life Ensemble

Theodore Curson (June 3, 1935 – November 4, 2012) was an American jazz trumpeter.[1][2]

Curson was born in Philadelphia.[1] He became interested in playing trumpet after watching a newspaper salesman play a silver trumpet.[3] Curson's father, however, wanted him to play alto saxophone like Louis Jordan.[3] When he was ten, he got his first trumpet.[3]

He attended Granoff School of Music in Philadelphia.[4] At the suggestion of Miles Davis, he moved to New York in 1956.[1] He performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[1][5] His composition "Tears for Dolphy" has been used in numerous films.[6][7][8]

He was a familiar face in Finland, having performed at the Pori Jazz festival every year since it began in 1966.[2] In 2007, he performed at Finland's Independence Day Ball at the invitation of president Tarja Halonen.[9]

A longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey,[10] Curson died there on November 4, 2012.[2]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Pepper Adams

With Bill Barron

With Nick Brignola

With Graham Collier

With Andrew Hill

With Charles Mingus

With New York Contemporary Five

With Sal Nistico

With Archie Shepp

With Cecil Taylor

With Andrzej Trzaskowski

With The Clinic Sextet

  • Studio Live (fifty-fifty records, 2008)

With Spirit of Life Ensemble

  • Live au Duc (Rise Up, 2001)
  • Planet Jazz (Rise Up, 2009)


  1. ^ a b c d Wynn, Ron (1994). Ron Wynn (ed.). All Music Guide to Jazz. Allmusic. M. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. p. 183. ISBN 0-87930-308-5.
  2. ^ a b c Gustafsson, Sari (2012-11-04). "Pori Jazzin legenda Ted Curson kuoli". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Lehtikuva.
  3. ^ a b c Allen, Clifford (2005-06-02). "Ted Curson: Atypical Ted". Allaboutjazz.com. All About Jazz. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  4. ^ Biography at AllMusic (web version)
  5. ^ Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (Eighth ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 1267. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  6. ^ "Ted Curson". ATPFestival.com. All Tomorrow's Parties. 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  7. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (2006-03-20). "Teorema". IGN.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  8. ^ Teorema on IMDb
  9. ^ "The President's Independence Day Reception on 6 December 2007". Office of the President of the Republic of Finland. Archived from the original on 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  10. ^ "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Ted Curson -- Long-time Montclair resident Curson is a bold trumpeter who has performed and/or recorded with Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor and the Spirit of Life Ensemble."

External links[edit]