AIRPLAY MAGAZINE SPECIAL FEATURE: CURTIS HAYWOOD SHINES BRIGHT WITH "CITY LIGHTS"
Updated: Oct 11
Saxophonist Curtis Haywood has always been in touch with the healing spirit of music. He was born and raised in Brooklyn and his early love for music eventually led top his being chosen from some 5,000 candidates to attend New York's prestigious high school for the performing arts. He went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied audio engineering. His earliest memory of his attachment to music is an anecdote his mother shares with everyone. “When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I received my first instrument – a trumpet. When it was bedtime I absolutely refused to go to bed without it. Now being of West-Indian descent, my parents were obviously not trying to have any ‘back mout' from dis here little child! Finally, convinced that they had lost the battle, they allowed me to sleep with my trumpet."
From that day forward, music has played an integral role in Haywood’s life. And on his self-titled debut as a solo artist, the former member of 1990’s band Joshua has found a strong voice of his own. “It's been a journey since my band broke up more than ten years ago, and it took a while for me to rebound, adjust and confront my fears of being alone and to face the challenges this industry throws at you, but it was always a non negotiable burning call on my life,” says Haywood of his decision to finally release his CD.
Joining Curtis Haywood on the CD are a collection of some stalwart players in the jazz, gospel and R&B worlds, among them bassist Artie Reynolds (Kirk Whalum, Alicia Keys, Keith Sweat, Alex Bugnon.) Also on board are Ainsley Taylor on drums, Chris Fischer on keys, Willie Brown on guitar, and Paul Aponte on percussion. But it is Haywood’s haunting soprano saxophone that gives the CD its voice and passion throughout a collection of 12 tracks that include sultry contemporary jazz originals and fresh arrangements of R&B favorites.
The three songs by other artists that Haywood selected to interpret come straight from his heart. “What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic, so each song that I covered has to do with a different aspect of love.” The CD’s opening track, “Anytime,” says Haywood, “just screams heartbreak,” and speaks volumes of Haywood’s musical affinity for his namesake, the legendary R&B saxophonist King Curtis. Moving across the romantic spectrum, his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’,” conveys a sense of “deep passion,” and the well-known “Sunny” resonates with the light-hearted fun of friendship.
“My sole intent, when I play, is for my voice to resonate to the core of your soul. I want the music to penetrate your body, your mind, and your spirit. I want my music to be a sacred blessing and for you on some level to come away whole” - Curtis Haywood
CURTIS HAYWOOD'S LATEST PROJECT IS A SINGLE RELEASE ENTITLED "CITY LIGHTS" AN INFECTIOUS, UPBEAT JAZZY TRACK BOUND TO WIN OVER A BRAND NEW WAVE OF SMOOTH JAZZ FANS. DO YOUR EARS A FAVOR AND STREAM IT NOW AND OFTEN!!
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