Instrument(s): Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cuica
Day Job: Retired band director, freelance musician
Musical career highlights:
Originally from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Brad Curran is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. He began playing trumpet in the fourth grade and was playing gigs and arranging by age twelve. Since that time, he has had the good fortune to perform in a variety of musical settings ranging from classical to jazz to pop/rock including appearances with jazz stars Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Med Flory and Supersax, Conte Candoli, Bill Watrous and Buddy DeFranco among others. Other diverse credits include the San Diego Concert Jazz Band, the Temptations, the Miss Wisconsin Pageant Orchestra, musical director and trumpet soloist with the Jan Garber Orchestra, various symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, brass ensembles and numerous recording sessions. Curran was the musical arranger for the Miss Wisconsin Pageant (prior to the age of pre-recorded music,) as well as writing for school bands, jazz bands, dance bands, solo trumpet and commercial music. He has taught trumpet students at all levels, is involved with both the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival and the Fox Jazz Festival in performance and board member roles, and is past-president of the Jazz Corner Society.
Brad is now retired after teaching 4 years in the Oshkosh Area School District, where he was the band director at Webster Stanley Middle School, and freshman brass instructor at Oshkosh West High School, following 26 years of teaching instrumental music at Seton Catholic Middle School in Menasha. He previously played principal trumpet for 10 years with the Oshkosh Brass Quintet, was leader of one of the Green Bay Packers "Tailgaters" bands for 19 years, performed with Vic Ferrari and the Symphony on the Rocks for 8 years, and spent 7 years with Marshall Vente's Mohawk Avenue Jazz Band, comprised of 8 musicians ranging from the Chicago, Milwaukee and (!) Fox Valley area.
Curran currently is the leader and a featured jazz soloist with the17 member Lighthouse Big Band, is a featured jazz soloist with the 18 piece Appleton-based Big Band Reunion, and the Intermediate Jazz instructor at Neenah High School. He also leads a variety of groups, including the Jazz Quartet DIG , the Mid-West Coast Jazz Octet, and the "Birth of the Cool Revisited". In addition to free-lance performance, arranging and recording work with a number of midwest bands, he also maintains a busy private teaching studio consisting of anywhere from 12 to 20 students. A huge advocate of jazz education, Brad is a past-president of the Wisconsin unit of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), a founding member of the new Wisconsin Association for Jazz Education (WI-AJE,) and a charter member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN).
Interesting facts (non-musical): Retirement is good for Brad. He is enjoying gardening, bird watching, cooking (and eating) exotic foods, and long walks with his better half.