Curtis Robert Macdonald is a Canadian born, New York based saxophonist and composer whose works blend sound design and improvisation. He has won commissions from Aszure Barton & Artists, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Kate Weare Company, Hubbard Street Dance, Bayerisches Staatsballett (The Bavarian State Ballet), Larry Keigwin & Co., and The Juilliard School. In 2014, he was co-awarded the first Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation Prize for his collaboration with Aszure Barton on the dance Awáa, and in 2016 he received a New Music USA grant for his collaboration with Kate Weare in Marksman. In suit, Curtis’ original theatrical scores are featured in several modern dance and ballet companies worldwide.
Curtis has released three albums as a bandleader, Community Immunity (2011), Twice Through The Wall (2013), and most recently, Scotobiology—the study of darkness, inspired by the effects of artificial light on living beings. He has also authored Introducing Extended Saxophone Techniques published by Mel Bay and is a lecturer at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. Furthermore, Curtis is a producer for Q2 Music at New York Public Radio where he received a Peabody Award in 2015 for his work on the podcast Meet The Composer.
Moreover, this past fall Curtis exhibited work at The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series with the Kate Weare Company. Shortly after, he had the honor of performing with vocalist Helga Davis at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) in response to visual artist Nick Cave’s Until. Curtis also works closely with the great American composer, multi-instrumentalist and Pulitzer Prize laureate Henry Threadgill as a member of his ensemble Double-Up.