Born in Detroit, Mich., Curtis Sumter was influenced by both the "Motown Sound" and Detroit rock and roll. While playing piano at the age of 5, playing the baritone horn at the age of 7 and switching to drums at the age of 9, his life was engrossed in music. At the age of 14, he started his professional career performing in nightclubs on the chitlin circuit in Detroit performing with musicians almost three times his own age.

Never allowing himself to become caught up in one style of music he performed with various artists playing music from big band to rock and roll, from fusion to blues. He worked in the pits for musicals such as The Wiz and Ain't Misbehavin. At 16, he began doing studio work with the likes of Ray Parker Jr., and Jimmy Ruffin. He made his way on the road at age 17 with his own band, performing at the old juke joints through the south.

He has performed on stage and in the studios with artists such as Joe Tex, Jimmy "Hammond" Smith, Grant Green, John Watkins, The Fabulous Holidays, Maurice John Vaughn, Ann Rabson (Saffire, the Uppity Woman), The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Pied Pipers, Nappy Brown, Bob Margolin, Dave Hole,  Johnny B. Gayden, Eddie Harsch (Black Crows), Earl Klugh, Eddie Kendricks (of The Temptations), Cash McCall, Larry McCray, Bill Perry, The Reflections, and Detroit Jr., to name a few. There's always been high accolades for this musician who has been called "The Metronome" and "The Master of Shuffle". Influences include Buddy Rich, Steve Ferrone, Ed Shaunnessy, Steve Gadd, Stewart Copeland, Lenny White, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, and Billy Cobham.


Curtis formed his own blues band in the early nineties called The Curtis Sumter Project. The Curtis Sumter Project was a hard hitting contemporary blues band with a soulful feel. They dominated the local Michigan blues scene there for the next 15 years. When the local blues scene slowed, Curtis took a semi retirement from music only performing at a few festivals and nightclubs a year. He was later convinced to return to performing and joined The Jamie Coe Band, and is still presently performing with them.

Return to The Project Blues Site

BACK                                            HOME