All About Jazz

Home » Member Page

Kurtis Adams

About Me

Award-winning jazz composer and saxophonist Kurtis Adams found his passion for music at an early age while raiding his parents’ eclectic music collection. As a member of the jazz scenes in Denver, Atlanta, and points in between, he has been privileged to share the stage with great musicians including Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano, Conrad Herwig, Bob Mintzer, Tom Harrell, Greg Gisbert, Pat Bianchi, Brad Goode, John Gunther, and Chip Stephens. His compositions have received high praise including an award for Best Original Composition from Downbeat Magazine. He can be heard on Seabreeze Records as a member of the Mike Pagan Big Band as well as on various small group recordings including his first release as a leader, Two Weeks From Tuesday, and newest release, Collage. As an educator, Dr. Adams has served on the faculties of Gordon College and Boise State University and is currently Director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. For more information, visit

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it is all about the process. As musicians and listeners, we are invited into the process of creativity. We get to enjoy the highs when things work right alongside those ideas that maybe don't work out quite as well. It's such a truly human experience!

My Favorites

  1. John Coltrane - Crescent
  2. Sonny Rollins - Live at the Vanguard (vols. 1 & 2)
  3. Larry Young - Unity
  4. Ornette Coleman - Live at the Golden Circle (vols. 1 & 2)
  5. Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles
  6. Bill Evans - Explorations
  7. Dexter Gordon - Go!
  8. Chris Potter - Gratitude
  9. Mark Turner - Dharma Days