Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Wheeler Curtis is a musician known for his "intensely focused and garrulously inventive" style, which draws from a wide range of influences including progressive bop and post-Coltrane/Ornette free improvisation. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Caleb is a leader and core member of several bands, including Ember, Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band (2x GRAMMY Nominated), Walking Distance, and the Fat Cat Big Band. His third album as a leader, HEATMAP, was released on Imani Records in 2022 and features pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Gerald Cleaver. The album received widespread critical acclaim, with All About Jazz calling him "one of the more interesting alto saxophonists to emerge since 2000," and Jazzwise describing it as "exhilarating post-Ornette free-jazzmaking." DownBeat Magazine said HEATMAP "radiates with brilliance," and Musica Jazz (Italy) described it as "a masterpiece."
In 2021, Caleb was named a MacDowell Fellow and composed the music for HEATMAP during his four-week artist residency at the prestigious MacDowell campus in New Hampshire. The compositions were designed to become a set of music that leaves ample space for the album's remarkable improvisers to explore and invent.
In addition to his three albums as a leader, Caleb has also released two albums with Ember, two albums with Walking Distance, and a duo album with Swiss pianist Laurent Nicoud. He has been widely praised for his collaborative projects and has recently recorded on albums by Igor Lumpert, Jeff Miles, Anwar Marshall, Dierk Peters, and George DeLancey, among others. With an individualistic approach to improvisation and sound, Caleb has been hailed as "one of the most interesting altoists in a long time." He is a D'Addario Woodwinds Artist and holds a Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University and a Master's in Music in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University.