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

Ted Curson
Ted Curson in Turku, Finland, July 2009
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

Life and careerEdit

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 gained 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 featured in a profile on composer Graham Collier in the 1985 Channel 4 documentary 'Hoarded Dreams' [9]

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.[10]

A longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey,[11] Curson died from a heart attack in the township on November 4, 2012.[2]


As leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit

With Bill Barron

With Charles Mingus

With Cecil Taylor

With others


  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". 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". All Tomorrow's Parties. 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  7. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (2006-03-20). "Teorema". IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  8. ^ Teorema at IMDb
  9. ^ Hoarded Dreams documentary website
  10. ^ "The President's Independence Day Reception on 6 December 2007". Office of the President of the Republic of Finland. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  11. ^ "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 linksEdit