Trombonist Curtis Fowlkes is a native of Brooklyn, NY. In fact, Curtis informs us: “I live in the house my grandfather bought in the 1920s.” Fowlkes became a full-time musician in 1977. “I got into the CETA program with Ernie Wilkins’ Jazzmobile project,” he says. From that point on, Fowlkes has been a full-time trombonist.
Curtis first came to prominence in the 1980s as a member of The Lounge Lizards, which was lead by saxophonist John Lurie. In 1987, he and saxophonist Roy Nathanson, both members of the Lounge Lizards, founded the Jazz Passengers, an eclectic group dedicated to putting entertainment and humor back into jazz. Fowlkes has also performed as a sideman with bassist Charlie Haden’s reunited Liberation Music Orchestra and with the alumni Ellington Orchestra led by Louis Bellson. He has performed or recorded with Levon Helm, John Zorn, Sheryl Crow, Marc Ribot, Ciba Matto, Andy Summers & Don Byron, to name a few. Curtis performed with the Kansas City All-Stars, appearing in Robert Altman’s 1996 film Kansas City.