Artist Lecturer in Saxophone
Curtis Johnson, retired Associate Professor of Music at West Virginia University, had been on the WVU faculty for more than twenty years. He received his Master of Music degree in saxophone performance from West Virginia University and his Bachelor of Music Degree from West Liberty State College. Curtis has been an adjunct faculty member at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Washington & Jefferson College, and West Liberty State University in West Virginia.
Classically, Mr. Johnson has performed on numerous North American Saxophone Alliance Conference programs, World Saxophone Congress programs, and national Saxophone Symposium programs. He has performed as soloist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Johnson is also a renowned R&B performer. He has backed such performers as Ray Charles, Little Anthony, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Chubby Checker, Chuck Berry, Isaac Hayes, Lou Rawls, The Spinners, Dionne Warwick, Martha Reeves, Cheryl Lynn, and is currently touring with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Mr. Johnson currently performs as a freelance performer and has completed many successful tours of Europe for over 30 years. Since 2008 he performed on several International Jazz Festivals in Russia. In addition, Mr. Johnson performs with the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra under the direction of world-renowned trumpeter Sean Jones.
As active as he has been in his performance career, Mr. Johnson has never left the classroom. Jazz education continues to be Mr. Johnson’s forte. He began his career as Director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University, taking several large ensembles and small groups to regional conferences and national performances. He has conducted numerous all-star high school and college bands, including The 1996 Maryland All-State Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Johnson has served as Artistic Director for the Krakow (Poland) School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Summer Jazz Academy. Recently, Mr. Johnson has been named a quarter-finalist in the Grammy Educator category.
Creative Music Solutions, an organization run by Mr. Johnson since 2001, has sponsored numerous tours to Europe with various performing groups since 2002 and began sponsoring High School and College music group tours to Europe during the summer 2005.
Mr. Johnson is an Artist/Clinician for the Yamaha Corporation of America Band and Orchestra Division.