Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is a professor of music and chair of the Jazz Department for the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC), and serves as a past-president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). Prior to his appointment at USC, he served as the director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC. He has served as a professor of music and chair of the Afro-African American Studies Department, and served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota. In 1997, Dr. McCurdy served as Visiting Professor at Maria-Sklodowska- Curie University in Lublin, Poland. In 2001, Dr. McCurdy received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kansas.
Dr. McCurdy served seven years as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Kansas. During his tenure, the University of Kansas Jazz Program gained national and international prominence. His instrumental and vocal ensembles performed at international and national music conferences and festivals throughout the world.
Dr. McCurdy released his first CD, titled Once Again for the First Time, on the INNOVA label, and is co-author of a vocal jazz improvisation series titled Approaching the Standards, as well as Meet the Great Jazz Legends (Alfred Publishing). He is currently on tour, presenting The Langston Hughes Project-Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz. The multimedia presentation features jazz quartet, spoken-word and images from the Harlem Renaissance.
Dr. McCurdy is in high demand as a guest clinician, soloist, speaker, and director of honor for jazz ensembles and choirs throughout the United States and Canada. He has directed All-State jazz ensembles in New York, Texas, Arizona, Vermont, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Florida, to name a few. Dr. McCurdy received his undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University, and his Masters and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Kansas.
Dr. McCurdy is a consultant to the Grammy Foundation educational programs, and serves as director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz and Combo Ensembles. He has also served as a member of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camp faculty. He was the director of the Walt Disney All-American Summer College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Singers in Orlando, Florida for seven years, and continues to serve as a consultant for the college program. Guest artists that he has worked with include Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Uggams, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schuur, Ramsey Lewis, Mercer Ellington, Dr. Billy Taylor, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, and Dianne Reeves. Dr. McCurdy is a performing artist for the Yamaha International Corporation.