Curtis Stewart, NYC native and genre bending violinist, enjoys an eclectic career bouncing between concerts in various realms of music: from MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and sold out shows at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder, to stints at the Kennedy center with the Jimmy Heath Big Band and performance installations at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Curtis has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, made chamber music appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Newport Jazz Festival, holding his audiences "spellbound" with his "warm, clear sound…sparkling rhythmic energy," "soulful improvisation" and "prodigious technique," (New Amsterdam Times, The Morning Call, SoundWordSight).
Born into a family of “avante” leaning musicians, Curtis’ delves into the human qualities of the violin; its infinite shades of expression, tapping into the deep connections and conflicts of our humanity across time, and culture. His father, avante jazz tuba pioneer Bob Stewart and mother Elektra Kurtis, soulful Greek/Jazz violinist formed the framework of his sound world through daring improvisation, rigorous western classical training, and conceptual composition. Curtis’ mission is to champion the contemporary, and search for connection in this seemingly chaotic and disperse world, morphing the seemingly divergent into the complementary and symbiotic.
Curtis has received special mention from JazzTimes, and Downbeat Magazines; STRAD Magazine called Curtis “a gem of string player, among the excellent musicians, whose impressive work contributed to many of the night’s high points...his swinging flights were among the most memorable.” An avid teacher, he currently teaches at the Laguardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts, and is on faculty at the Jazz @ Lincoln Center Jazz Academy.
His ensembles realize a vision to find powerful connections between styles, cultures and musics. "PUBLIQuartet," was finalist in the 2013 Concert Artist Guild Competition, winner of the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize. His spoken word trio, "The Mighty Third Rail" won "Best Music" and "Best Innovation" at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. His ensembles perform at The Blue Note, National Public Radio, Rochester Jazz Festival, NYC SummerStage, The PUBLIC Theater, Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, and many others frequently around the nation.
Curtis has worked with today's forward thinking musicians including Henry Threadgill, Jason Moran, members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Billy Childs, members of Snarky Puppy, Don Byron, Linda Oh, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, Jason Lindner, Edmar Casteneda, among many others.
Mentors include members of the Muir, Juilliard, Orion, Mendelssohn, Tokyo, American, Dedalus, Boromeo, Brentano, Uptown, and Turtle Island String Quartets, composers Joan Tower, Marcos Balter, Nadia Sirota, and Butch Morris, violinists Mark Steinberg, Lynn Blakeslee at the Eastman School of Music. Curtis also has a BA of Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
A supporter and practitioner of many styles of music, Curtis strives to expand and blend all the elements of his stylistic and expressive range, forging a unique and relevant voice in New York’s boundless music scene.