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Ladd McIntosh

Ladd McIntosh has orchestrated music for over 125 major motion pictures. His expertise in orchestration continues a long career as jazz composer, arranger, jazz educator, music publisher and big band leader.

As a student at Ohio State University, he gained national attention in the 1960s with his composing/arranging skills. He won best jazz composer awards at five major college jazz festivals and was the subject of articles in both Downbeat magazine and the New York Times. Ladd organized, conducted and wrote the entire library for the Ohio State Jazz Workshop Band which took first place at the very first American College Music Festival in Miami Beach, Florida in 1967. He also won the Duke Ellington Composer Award at that festival.

After a brief stint playing in show bands in Las Vegas, Ladd returned to Ohio State and finished his Masters degree. In the fall of 1970 he began a productive five year stay in Utah as Visiting Asst. Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Utah and then as Director of Jazz Studies at Westminster College. He turned down offers from Stan Kenton and others in order to work in Utah. While there, Ladd’s University of Utah band received numerous accolades for a 1972 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. That same year, his original rock opera "Today Is a Good Day to Die" was performed in Chicago, Miami and New England to rave reviews.

He is considered a pioneer in the field of jazz education.

Ladd moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1975. After teaching at the Dick Grove Music School, he began a 19-year association with California State University, Northridge in 1977, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz arranging and jazz ensembles. McIntosh taught improvisation at the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute for four years. He has published over 100 compositions for various ensembles. His pieces have been performed all over the U.S. and abroad.

He has performed as guest soloist/composer/conductor at various jazz festivals, universities and high schools throughout the U.S. and has received numerous commissions to write original works for college and high school jazz bands.

Ladd is known as a man who has a penchant for unusual and off beat titles for his compositions. Some of the more interesting include: A Quadrant of Frogs and One Great Hysterical ‘Ribbet’, Raoul at the Zepp Club, Hollywood Bull Shtick, The Incredible Tail of Marula Pyps, Music for a Different Planet Dying in Another Time, Forever Lost in My Mind’s Own Eye, The Epic Plight of the Furbish Lousewort, The Avenging Angel and Ichabod Crane, The Angry Macrophage, Dried Gooshies, Ride the Night Beast, Taco Tee Shirt, and Steaks ‘n’ Beans at Mormon Lake Lodge.

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Meet Ladd McIntosh

Read "Meet Ladd McIntosh" reviewed by Craig Jolley

Composer/bandleader Ladd McIntosh emerged in the 1960's with a shattering big band sound. Freely integrating exotic rhythms, non-traditional colors, pop and classical music references, and expanded rhythm sections, his bands explode with energy and swing yet they sound natural. McIntosh has never landed a favorable recording contract, but he has enjoyed his share of musical successes over the years including a groundbreaking record (Impulse A-9145) in 1967 with his Ohio State big band. As a legendary educator he has challenged ...

Multiple Reviews

Ladd McIntosh Big Band: Temptation & Ride the Night Beast

Read "Ladd McIntosh Big Band: Temptation & Ride the Night Beast" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Ladd McIntosh Big Band Temptation Ride the Night Beast L.E.M. Records 2004 These albums, recorded side-by-side in December '03, summarize accurately and completely the musical perspective of composer/arranger/orchestrator/bandleader Ladd McIntosh, a man whose heart was given early in life to the Great American Songbook ( Temptation ) but whose unquenchable spirit drives him ever forward, absorbing new forms and techniques and blending them into his singular musical vocabulary ( ...

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Neil Swainson
bass, acoustic

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