Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy
Professor of Music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) where he served as chair of the jazz department for six years (2002-2008). Prior to his appointment at USC he served as Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC (1999-2001). He has served as Professor of Music and chair of the Afro-African American Studies Department and served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota (1990-1999). In 1997, Dr. McCurdy served as Visiting Professor at Maria-Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland. In 2001 Dr. McCurdy received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kansas. Dr. McCurdy received his undergraduate degree from Florida A & M University and his Masters and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Kansas.
Dr. McCurdy’s latest CD is titled April In Paris and features his new vocal, funk band called the Ron McCurdy Collective. His first CD, Once Again for the First Time on the INNOVA label enjoyed critical acclaim as well. He has also released a CD of the Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz. He is co-author of a vocal jazz improvisation series titled Approaching the Standards, published by Warner Bros. Dr. McCurdy authored, Meet the Great Jazz Legends published by Alfred Publishing Co. He contributed chapters to two recent publications: Teaching Music in Performance Through Jazz: Vol. I (Gia Publication) and African Americans and Popular Culture (Edited by Todd Boyd). In 2008 he premiered the orchestral version of The Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: 12 Mood for Jazz with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with rapper and television actor, Ice-T. The multimedia presentation features jazz quartet, spoken-word and images from the Harlem Renaissance.
Dr. McCurdy is in demand as a guest clinician, soloist, speaker, director of honor Jazz Ensembles and Choirs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. He has directed All State Jazz Ensembles in New York, Texas, Arizona, Vermont, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Florida to name a few.
Dr. McCurdy is a consultant to the Grammy Foundation educational programs including serving as director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He served as Director of the Walt Disney All-American Summer College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Singers in Orlando, Florida for seven years and currently serves as the Director of the All American College Band in Anaheim. A few of the guest artists he has worked with include Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Uggams, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schuur, Ramsey Lewis, Mercer Ellington, Dr. Billy Taylor, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, and Dianne Reeves. He has served as a member of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camp faculty. Dr. McCurdy is a performing artist for the Yamaha International Corporation.