Heralded for his “solos of mercurial poetry and high craft” (Chicago Tribune), Chicago-based trumpeter/composer Chad McCullough has received wide critical-acclaim. His 20+ albums as a leader / co-leader speak to the depth of his musical palette. All About Jazz 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 …”
As a leader, he has performed with his bands at festivals around the globe, including the Festival of New Trumpet Music (New York), the GG Jazz Festival (Krasnodar, Russia), Chicago Jazz Festival, The Earshot Jazz Festival, Halifax Jazz Festival (Nova Scotia) and The Appeltuin Jazz Festival (Belgium). His albums have been released internationally on Origin Records, OA2 Records, ears&eyes, Monks and Thieves, and Shifting Paradigm.
He’s a member or frequent collaborator with many musicians/ensembles, including ensembles with; Bram Weijters, Matt Ulery, Roger Ingram, Dana Hall, Ryan Shultz, Luke Malewicz, Rob Clearfield, James Davis, and has performed with Maria Schneider, Miguel Zenon, Stafford James, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Tim Hagans, and many more.
Chad holds a master’s degree in music from the University of Washington (’05), and a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Idaho (’03), where he was a Lionel Hampton Scholar and was the first student to graduate with a jazz emphasis on his degree. He toured extensively playing both piano and trumpet in the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and in 2009 participated in the Jazz & Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre in Canada. In 2017 was awarded a DCASE grant for an intensive study with Grammy-wining trumpeter Tim Hagans. He is currently on the faculty at DePaul University and Merit School of Music, in Chicago.
In the fall of 2019, Chad joined the Mead Witter School of Music as lecturer of jazz trumpet.