School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Chad McCullough

Chad McCullough

BM University of Idaho
MM University of Washington

Courses Taught
Applied Jazz Trumpet
Jazz Combos

Chicago-based Trumpeter/composer Chad McCullough… called “a thoughtful improvisor with technique to spare” by, Chad’s various albums have received wide critical-acclaim. His stable of collaborators is a diverse collection of unique musicians and speaks to the depth of his musical palette. Dan McClenaghan writes, “He is a rare instrumentalist who makes each note sound as if it were imbued with a deeper meaning. Certainly a player with great chops, his approach is one that is measured and deliberate, often introspective, sometimes gorgeously melancholic, and one that employs a continuity of mood and atmosphere that the best recordings have.” 

As a leader, he has performed with his bands at festivals throughout the globe, including the 2013 Festival of New Trumpet Music (New York), the GG Jazz Festival (Krasnodar, Russia), The Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle), Halifax Jazz Festival (Halifax, NS) and The Appeltuin Jazz Festival (Belgium). His albums have been released on Seattle’s Origin Records, and many have peaked in the top 100 for national airplay in the US.

He is a member of the West African-inspired group The Kora Band, a group who’s latest record ‘Cascades’ has garnered national attention, peaking at #12 on the World Music Charts, and won NW Recording of the Year in Earshot Magazine. They were recently awarded a CMA New Jazz Works grant for their upcoming record, and the music will be released on UK-based Whirlwind Records in 2015. He also tours with Tunnel Six, an international group that has been awarded 3 Canada Council of the Arts grants. Their debut record, Lake Superior, made the top ’100 albums of 2011′ on eMusic, and the follow-up, Alive, was released in 2013. His new group The Spin Quartet’s debut album, In Circles, comes out in October.

As a composer, he has scored for film, written for various brass ensembles, dancers, and string quartets and quintets- in both classical and jazz idioms. Many of his pieces have been used for music spots on NPR. He is also in high demand as an educator, and frequently speaks about jazz music and the trumpet to students of all ages, giving clinics at high schools and colleges throughout the country. He has been involved with mentoring projects run by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the radio station KPLU, and has done educational outreach in several internationally-recognized high school music programs.

Chad holds a M.M. from the University of Washington, and a B.M. from the University of Idaho, where he was a Lionel Hampton Scholar, and was the first student to graduate with a jazz emphasis on his degree. He has played and arranged for the Disneyland College Band, toured extensively playing both piano and trumpet in the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and in 2009 was selected to attended the jazz & creative music workshop at the Banff Centre in Canada. He is currently on the faculty at DePaul University.

Chad is Hub Van Laar trumpets and flugelhorns performing artist, and also endorses Facet Mutes with an upcoming signature line.

Learn more on the Jazz Studies Studio Page​