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Dr. Kurtis Adams

Assistant Professor
Department of Music
Shepherd University
United States of America


 Originally from Nashville, TN, Kurtis Adams found his passion for music at an early age. As a child, he gave pretend concerts in between raiding his parents’ music collection. Eventually, the pretend concerts became real when he began playing the saxophone at age nine then deciding to pursue music professionally while in high school. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Kurtis moved to Boulder for graduate studies at the University of Colorado. As an integral part of the Colorado music community, he performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and the 9th and Lincoln Orchestra and shared the stage with great musicians including Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Greg Gisbert, Pat Bianchi, Jeff Jenkins, Brad Goode, Peter Sommer, and Paul Romaine. As a member of the Jazz Ensembles at CU, Kurtis performed with guest artists such as Joe Lovano, Conrad Herwig, Jiggs Whigham, Tom Harrell, Bobby Shew, and Bob Mintzer. In 2005, Downbeat Magazine named Kurtis College Co-winner for Best Original Composition for his composition “Instable Mate?” and in 2007 he was selected to participate in the Paquito D’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop performing with the Grammy-winning saxophonist at Carnegie Hall in New York. Previously on the faculties of Gordon College and Boise State University, Kurtis is currently on the faculty at Shepherd University where he serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies

Research Interest

 jazz Music

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