Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Changes

Leaves have fallen ...

This will be a fairly short post.

Saxophonist/Clarinetist and all-round reed & horn man Stuart Curtis suddenly died while at his place of employment as a night shift nurse in the early AM of November 6, 2012. His co-workers report that he was laughing just before his fatal collapse.

Stuart was half the duo at the core of Great SL Mime Troupe's original full-time band, along with Paul Blackwell, in the summer of 1973. Stuart also performed at the International Mime Festival in 1974, and went to Europe with us all in 1975, alongside musicians Jan Fogel, John Fischer, David Carrillo, and Gregg Moore. Curtis also played with the Mime Troupe during Amsterdam's Festival of Fools in 1976, 1977, and 1978 -- the last of which introduced the long-running ensemble Available Jelly to the world.
He worked with ex-Troupers Patsy Droubay, Debra Ryals, Hillary Elmore, and Jan Jaap Decker as part of the Creative Graffiti theater group in Salt Lake City, and after additional stints with Mainstream, The Jordan River Uptown Band, and the John Fischer Group he returned to Europe -- performing in Hamburg, Germany with the orchestra for Andrew Lloyd Weber's long-running musical Cats for over a decade. See the link HERE.
He lived in Corvallis, Oregon through the 2000's, performing music regularly.

Stu Curtis in Italy circa 1977, from a photo supplied by Gregg Moore.

His friend Susan Doyle writes:

Stuart Curtis touched the lives of many of us with his masterful music, sense of humor, and his gentle, caring spirit. We invite you all to join us in a celebration of his life on Friday, November 9, 6:30-8:30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Corvallis, 2945 NW Circle Blvd. Corvallis, Oregon USA. You are invited to bring a potluck dish and/or a (non-alcoholic) beverage to share. We will gather in the Fellowship Hall after the memorial service to socialize and share a meal. Musicians who would like to honor their connection with Stu by performing a song or two, please contact Suz Doyle ( who will be coordinating the flow of the service. Anyone who has photos, video or audio files they would like to contribute to a digital presentation for everyone's enjoyment, please email them to Sue Crawford (


  1. I knew Stuart (and Ellen, Charles, and Sam) during his time in Hamburg playing in the band for the long-running production of CATS. He was an expressive and dedicated musician, a wonderful neighbor and understanding friend and, best of all, one of the funniest people I ever met. Rest in peace, Stuart. I'm proud that I knew you.

    Richard Rieves
    Hamburg, Germany

  2. Jacqui Dunnley-WendtNovember 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Thanks for playing for us Pussy Cats on Stage Stuart!

    Jacqui Dunnley-Wendt
    Cast Member, Cats, Hamburg, Germany

  3. One of my lasting musical memories of playing in Cats were Stuart's unfailing musical taste, modesty and wit. Inspiring.

  4. Many thanks to Frido and Jacqui for their kind words!

  5. (Via Suzannah Doyle):
    Here are just SOME of the bands Stuart Curtis has played with: 1. El Kabong Orchestra; 2. Guten Zeiten Band; 3. Mango Django; 4. Suzannah Doyle Trio; 5. Hilltop Big Band; 6. Heartland Big Band; 7. Salem Big Band; 8. Yachats Big Band; 9. Calamity Jazz; 10. Svens; 11. Oregon Coast Chamber Orchestra; 12. Available Jelly;