Ted Curson

Ted Curson

Ted Curson in Turku, Finland, July 2009
Background information
Birth name Theodore Curson
Born (1935-06-03)June 3, 1935
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died November 4, 2012(2012-11-04) (aged 77)
Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Genres Bebop, hard bop, avant-garde jazz
Instruments Trumpet
Years active 1955–2012
Labels Old Town, Prestige, Fontana, Atlantic, Black Lion, Arista, Inner City, Interplay, Chiaroscuro
Associated acts Charles Mingus, Spirit Of Life Ensemble

Theodore "Ted" Curson (June 3, 1935 – November 4, 2012)[1][2] was an American jazz trumpeter. He is perhaps best known for recording and performing with Charles Mingus.

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, preferred that his son should become an alto saxophone player like Louis Jordan.[3] Finally, when Ted was 10 years old, he received his first trumpet.[3]

Curson attended Granoff School of Music in Philadelphia.[4] At the suggestion of Miles Davis, he moved to New York in 1956.[1] Curson performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[1][5] His 1964 Eric Dolphy tribute composition "Tears for Dolphy" has been used in numerous films.[6][7][8]

Curson was a resident of Montclair, New Jersey.[9] He was also a familiar face in Finland, having performed annually at the Pori Jazz festival each year since the beginning of the event in 1966.[2] In 2007, Curson performed at Finland's Independence Day Ball at the invitation of president Tarja Halonen.[10]

Curson died on November 4, 2012 in Montclair.[2]


As leader

As sideman

With Andrew Hill

With Charles Mingus

WIth New York Contemporary Five

With Sal Nistico

With Archie Shepp

With Cecil Taylor

With Andrzej Trzaskowski

With The Clinic Sextet

With Spirit Of Life Ensemble

With Nick Brignola and Pepper Adams


  1. 1 2 3 4 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. 1 2 3 Gustafsson, Sari (2012-11-04). "Pori Jazzin legenda Ted Curson kuoli". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Lehtikuva.
  3. 1 2 3 Allen, Clifford (2005-06-02). "Ted Curson: Atypical Ted". Allaboutjazz.com. 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". ATPFestival.com. All Tomorrow's Parties. 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  7. Gilchrist, Todd (2006-03-20). "Teorema". IGN.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  8. Teorema at the Internet Movie Database
  9. The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats, The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2004
  10. "The President's Independence Day Reception on 6 December 2007". Office of the President of the Republic of Finland. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
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