Brooklyn based, Ann Arbor (MI) born, musician Caleb Curtis has shown himself to be an engaging saxophonist and composer that “lives at the junction of rigorous preparation and willingness to explore.” (Jazz Speaks) His playing and compositions are informed by a wide swath of the jazz tradition, at times introspective, brash and melodic. Legendary pianist Mulgrew Miller said “Caleb has a wonderful, singing, projecting sound. To me, that’s the ultimate for a horn player.” His new album Brothers (produced by Orrin Evans and featuring Josh Lawrence, Eric Revis, Luques Curtis, Mark Whitfield Jr. and Seamus Blake) was recently released on Imani Records. Neighborhood (Ropeadope Records), the 2015 debut album from the Brooklyn based collective quartet Walking Distance, for which Caleb composes and plays alto saxophone, was met with critical acclaim. Their new album Freebird (featuring Jason Moran) is on Sunnyside Records. The New York Times says (about Freebird) that Walking Distance “tears into the new stuff it has created, sounding ageless.”
After studying music at Michigan State University and William Paterson University Caleb has become an active member of the New York City jazz and creative music scene. He can be seen with the Caleb Curtis Quartet, Walking Distance, Josh Lawrence and Color Theory, Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band, Curtis/Sperrazza/Garabedian, Asterids Alto Quartet, the Fat Cat Big Band, the Mike Sailors Nonet, and the Gregorio Uribe Big Band. He has performed at the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Smalls, Smoke, Zinc Bar, and many other NYC clubs. Caleb has developed an individualistic approach to improvisation and sound, and has been hailed as “one of the most interesting altoists in a long time.” (Jazzwise)
In addition, Caleb has played with many extraordinary musicians including Jason Moran, Mulgrew Miller, Duane Eubanks, Houston Person, Orrin Evans, Eric Revis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Eubanks, Buster Williams, Lenny White, Gene Jackson, Jack Walrath, Kevin Hays, Saul Rubin, David Gibson, Lafayette Harris, Ralph Bowen, Ben Williams, Justin Brown, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Gregorio Uribe, Ben Wolfe, Luques Curtis, Seamus Blake, Marquis Hill, Marta Sánchez, Stacy Dillard, Jon Irabagon, EJ Strickland, Matt Clohesy, Vinnie Sperrazza, Jeremy Siskind, Glenn Zaleski and many others.
Caleb is a D’Addario Woodwinds Artist
Selmer Mark VI, 151xxx
– The New York Times
"Saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis negotiates taut, bop-flavored contours with a meld of Desmond-like coolness and blues-toughened acerb"
"Color Theory introduces one of the most interesting altoists in a long time in Caleb Curtis"
"wields his sax like a weapon of mass destruction"
– The Classical Arts