Curtis McCain is a dynamic multi-percussionist who plays a variety of music styles and genres.  Curtis has been playing professionally for 22 years and has shared the stage and recorded with many well-known artists. 

Curtis was born and raised in California's Bay Area and is a third-generation musician.  His grandfather, Joe McCain was a talented jazz trumpeter and his father Mike 'Big Daddy' McCain was a well-known saxophonist, percussionist and vocalist throughout California.  Mike played with artists such as Cal Tjader, The Temptations and many more.  Curtis was exposed to a wide range of music at a very young age.  Jazz, Latin, Salsa, Brazilian, Dixieland, Oldies, R&B, Funk, Rock, Hip-Hop, Disco, Pop and Soul music were staples in the McCain household. 

Curtis was always fascinated by the sound of the conga drums.  He would ask his father to put on old salsa records and play congas to them.  In 1988 his father pulled him aside and began teaching him simple conga patterns.  In 1992, after a few years of practice, Curtis started to develop a more natural rhythm.  His father then began showing him various styles of jazz improvisation.  Curtis began to study and practice to such talents as Poncho Sanchez, Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria, Ray Barretto and Paulinho Da Costa. With all his musical exposure and experiences, Curtis was developing his own sound and techniques as a percussionist and this is where the talent was born. In 1999, Curtis embarked on his performing career as a freelance percussionist. 

Since relocating to Northern VA, Curtis has met and shared the company and stage with many great smooth jazz artists such as; Nick Colionne, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Alex Bugnon, Rayford Griffin, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Will Donato, Michael Manson, Jean and Marcus Baylor, Jeff Golub, Althea Rene, Michael Wolff, Ray Vega, The Yellow Jackets, The Rippingtons, Kim Waters, Paul Taylor, Norman Brown, Kenny Rankin, Marc Antoine, Ricky Lawson, Philippe Saisse, Roberto Vally, Paul Brown, Gumbi Ortiz and Al Di Meola. 

Curtis is excited over the many past and future opportunities to perform, record and tour with fellow artists.  His motto ‘Bringin’ Spice To Your Life’ sums up his style and resonates loud and clear with his ever-growing fan base.  He is a truly dedicated and professional musician who does it for no other reason than his love for music.


Performed at the following:

  • 2007 Berks Jazz Festival’s Nick Colionne All-Star Jam Session 
  • 2nd Annual Metropolitan International Jazz Festival Jam Session 
  • 8th and 9th Annual Lake Arbor Jazz Festival 
  • 8th and 9th Annual Lake Arbor Jazz Festival’s Gerald Veasley All-Star Jam Session 
  • 3rd Annual Southern Maryland Wine and Jazz Festival 
  • 2016/2017 Spookstock Festival – Opened for Steve Miller Band and ZZ Top with both events featuring special guest guitarist Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter 
  • 2nd Annual Frederick Maryland Jazz Festival - Opened for Carolyn Malachi
  • 31st Annual Staunton Jazz in the Park Festival
  • 2018 Spookstock Festival - Opened for John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 6th Annual Jazz Legacy Foundation Gala Weekend, Nick Colionne Late Night Jam Session
  • 7th Annual Jazz Legacy Foundation Gala Weekend, Late Night Jam 
  • Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club 
  • City Winery Atlanta
  • The Tin Pan
  • Blues Alley 
  • The Carlyle Club
  • The Anthem