Curtis Nowosad

NYC-based drummer / composer / educator / bandleader

CURTIS NOWOSAD is a New York-based drummer, composer and bandleader. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Nowosad has distinguished himself touring coast-to-coast and playing at clubs such as the Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s and Smalls with his quintet. He has performed in the bands of world-class musicians Marc Cary, Philip Harper, Craig Harris and Braxton Cook, among others and has performed at every major jazz festival in Canada and several in the US; his co-led group CNOTE holds a weekly residency at the legendary Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. He has performed with three NEA Jazz Masters, Candido Camero, Dave Liebman and Jimmy Owens, and in 2013 he recorded with a fourth, pianist Kenny Barron.

His quintet’s critically-acclaimed, WCMA-winning and JUNO-nominated album Dialectics (Cellar Live) was released in March 2015, and features world-renowned tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and trumpeter Derrick Gardner. The album made DownBeat Magazine’s “Best of 2015” list, receiving a 4 1/2 star review (“...fiery and scalding one moment, breezy and swinging the next, and perpetually inventive throughout.”). It reached #3 on the CMJ jazz charts, as well as spending ten weeks on the JazzWeek charts. The quintet’s debut album, The Skeptic & the Cynic, released in late 2012, spent two weeks at #1 on the Canadian Jazz Charts and featured special guest and two-time GRAMMY nominee Taylor Eigsti on piano.

A recipient of several awards and scholarships, in 2014 Nowosad performed at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam as a winner of the Keep an Eye Jazz Award. He was twice selected to participate in Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and also attended the Banff Jazz Workshop. He is an alumnus of the University of Manitoba, where he studied with Terreon Gully and Quincy Davis, and holds a masters degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of John Riley, and performed with the multi-GRAMMY nominated MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Bobby Sanabria. He currently serves on MSM’s Precollege jazz faculty and is an endorser of Canopus Drums.