Anthony Curtis Band
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Anthony Curtis Band

Richmond, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Richmond, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Jazz


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The best kept secret in music


"Anthony Curtis Band"

Release info/Press release

"Anthony's virtuosity is tremendous, he is new music."
- Guitar legend Pat Martino

Anthony Curtis is not for the faint of heart! One of the most adventurous musicians on the scene today, Curtis combines a fearless approach to music with a staggering instrumental technique that led the Washington Post to describe him as "One of the most advanced guitarists today", and the Billboard Guide to Progressive Music to call his previous release "the best album of 1997". His music is a polarizing firestorm of energy and emotion rooted equally in rock, free jazz and ancient mysticism.

The new release Book of the Key on Jester Records features some of the best musicians from around the globe and shows Anthony Curtis truly hitting his artistic stride.

Following two and a half years of living and performing throughout the Middle East, Anthony Curtis teamed up with producer/mixer Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Terry Bozzio, Steve Morse, Ulver) at Veneto West Studios in Los Angeles to begin the work that would become Book of the Key. Murphy and Curtis put together a wish list of players to collaborate on the album and as luck would have it, got their first pick for every instrument.

The core of the album is Curtis on guitar and oud, bassist / Chapman Stick player Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Buddy Rich) and Malaysian, East Indian drummer Lewis Pragasam, who in addition to being Southeast Asia's most in demand drummer is the leader of Asia Beat, a world music fusion project that has sold hundreds of thousands of albums worldwide. The group was filled out by Jeff Gauthier (Yusef Lateef, Alex Cline) on violin, Mike Kenneally (Zappa, Steve Vai) on Fender Rhodes and Ronan Chris Murphy on harmonium. A line up that music critic, Pete Pardo, described as "almost like the Second Coming of the Mahavishnu Orchestra."

Book of the Key is a sprawling 73 minute epic, a non stop rush of energy that mixes grooves from India and melodies from the Middle East in a barrage of complex harmony and power. From the slow molten beauty of "The Ruins" to the all out fury of the 23 minute title track, Book of the Key
features some of the most powerful playing ever heard by some of the worlds greatest musicians including some of the most exciting Chapman Stick work by Tony Levin since his work with King Crimson in the 80's . Curtis and Murphy set out to make an album featuring musicians with diverse backgrounds that all stand on their own as artists and could not only keep up with Anthony but also contribute to the writing and artistic direction of the album as well. The presence of such strong musicians did nothing to obscure Curtis' unique musical vision but pushed it to new heights and brought out the best in his collaborators.

Anthony Curtis possesses technique so unbelievable that one writer at Guitar Player magazine actually refused to review one of his early albums, as they did not believe a guitarist could actually perform the material without tape speed manipulation. Another writer at Guitar Player described Anthony as a guitarist that "plays with conviction an a rare technical command." Despite the fact that many consider Anthony to be the fastest guitarist in the world, it would be a mistake to confuse him with the crop of heavy metal shredders, his music and technique spring from a far different place. A mix of Western Pythagorean harmony and Sufi Ikhwan Al Safa theory blended with heavy doses of rock and jazz, his fusion of East and West is not merely a decorative element but a deep rooted passion based on years of study. The Middle East newspaper Gulf Times said "He can be instrumental in seeing some of the indigenous music of the Middle East have wider acceptance in the West." In addition to his work as a musician, Curtis is a published author that has researched and written extensively on the Yoga of Light and Sound and teaches Yoga of Sound seminars throughout the world.

Book of the Key is destined to be one of the most exciting releases of 2005. (Ronan Chris Murphy) Reviews

Sea of Tranquility March 2004 Indie Workshop March 2005 Ground and Sky March 2005 GAZ-ETA May 2005 Wayside May 2005 Progressive Ears May 2005 Aural Innovations June 2005 Metal Ireland June 2005 Dead Earnest August 2005 Musique Machine September 2005 Progressive Ears II October 2005 Ultima Thule March 2006 Progressive World July 2006 - Norway Today


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy



Anthony Curtis was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in rural Lignum, Virginia. It was a kind of musical waystation between the urbanity of Duke Ellington and Virginia’s traditional mountain music heritage. At a very early age he was drawn to music. He loved the trumpet first, began playing the guitar at age seven, and sang in the church choir.
He is a musician, composer, and teacher devoted to exploring sound. He has founded numerous bands, among them the Anthony Curtis Band 2000-2013 with Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel)Mike Keneally(Frank Zappa, Steve Vai) Boom with Pippin Barnett (Curlew, Fred Frith) and Greg LaBudde (Hammersmith, Loibon) (1994-99), Ja’Lu (1990-93), Firehand (1992-93), and Sonic Mandala (1988-91).

His albums include Book Of The Key (2005), Ratios (2010), Orpheus in the Rays (2010" One Hour Talisman (1997), Squint (1994), Everything is Relative (1991), Variations on the Theme of Being (1989), and The Deepest Seat (1987). He has taught extensively and helped to launch Qatar Music Academy. In addition to his musical pursuits, he has delved deeply into meditative and spiritual traditions including Platonism, Dzogchen, and Sufism.

Curtis went to Qatar in 2000 where he spent two and a half years absorbing the light and music of the Arab world. He played concerts with a variety of Indian percussionists and singers and partnered with Vittorio Uldorico from Eritrea.

Returning to his home in Richmond, Virginia in 2003, he began playing concerts with local funk, fusion, jazz, and rock players and planning his upcoming album with LA producer Ronan Chris Murphy. The inspiration for the project came from the Middle East: the desert, the sea, the meeting of east and west, and the beloved Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

Book of the Key was recorded in Los Angeles in December of 2003 and January of 2004 and features Tony Levin on bass and Chapman Stick, Lewis Pragasam from Malaysia on drums and percussion, Mike Keneally on Fender Rhodes, Jeff Gauthier on violin, and Ronan Chris Murphy on harmonium. Augusta and Paulina Einarsdottir of Elf Films are producing a DVD that includes interviews with all the performers, behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album, as well as a guitar master class entitled “Yoga of Sound Seminar I.”

The album is released by Jester Records in . Kim Solve and Trine Paulsen designed the stunning album art. Anthony is giving concerts in the mid-Atlantic usa, Norway, and Europe in general, and the Middle East.

“Anthony Curtis plays with conviction and a rare technical command.” Jim Ferguson Guitar Player Magazine – July 1989
“Anthony’s virtuosity is tremendous, he is new music.” Pat Martino 1987

“One of the most advanced guitarists today.” W. Royal Stokes The Washington Post – November 1989

“The Antman’s vocabulary includes the snarls and tremolo free-for-alls that come from the best atonally oriented “rock” guitaroids like Andy Gill, Hendrix, and Thurston Moore.” Rob Thornton RTFM – September 1994

“An electric guitar that moans and burbles to his touch…like the long, winding improvisations of Southern field hollers and church moans.” Clarke Bustard Richmond Times-Dispatch – August 1989

“Anthony is one of the most technically advanced guitarists on the planet and a truly unique artist.” Veneto West Newsletter - Spring 2004

“Richmond is lucky enough to call guitar player Anthony Curtis one of its own.” Jay Smack Ninevolt – April 2004

“Renowned for his inventive fret-board mastery, Curtis plays like a wild banshee capable of making a guitar squeal, moan and emote in ways once thought unimaginable.” Chris Bopst - March 2004

“Anthony Curtis’ guitar work has always resisted easy categorization. Some call it prog, some space rock, others heavy fusion. He’s often compared to Sonny Sharrock and Dave Fuiczinski.” Richmond Music Journal – May 2004

“He can be instrumental in seeing some of the indigenous music of the Middle East have wider acceptance in the West.” Chitra Sugandam Gulf Times – December 2000

"Curtis sifts through all sorts of multi-textures, fuzzy sustain, and exploratory guitar riffs as his band mates lay down rhythms, textures, and harmonies to propel each song." Dave Wright Progressive Ears - 26 May 2004

"One freakishly talented guitar player with an equally freaky approach to the allmighty axe.” Jester News – November 2004


“A mind blowing epic mix of jazz, prog and world music.” Veneto West Newsletter - Spring 2004
"A very textured and spacey mix of prog rock, jazz fusion, and avant-garde sounds.” Pete Pardo Sea of Tranquility - March 2004

"Mahavishnu Orchestra, comes to mind pretty quickly, also Anthony's guitar style reminds me of Sonny Sharrock. Steve Tibbets, Weather Report, and Power Tools also come to mind when listening. There are elements of jazz fusion, funk, world-prog, prog-metal and other styles and textures running throughout this well-made album." Dave Wright