Born in the Mississippi Delta George has been performing composed and improvised musics for over 20 years. From totally improvised concepts to the relatively structured beat music of his band Curlew his experiences have been considerable. From a starting point at Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio in 1977 and a move to NYC fall of 1979 he has seen and participated in musical changes and challenges no one could foresee. And he's loved it. Few contemporary composer/performers have had as varied and extensive experience in the changing concepts of avant music and maintained as high a quality of work. His compositions are at once direct and mysterious, possessing a clarity and focus that show both Ellington and Ornette assimilated in the the most unique of ways. With melodies wrangled to their essence, structures dense, clear and unpredictable it is a music that stands on its own. In the summer of 2003 George received a McKnight Composer’s Fellowship. In that same year he was chosen 'The City Pages' jazz musician of the year ( Twin Cities weekly arts and news paper). In 2009 he received a Jerome Foundation Composer's Grant to write, develop and perform Davey Williams radio play 'Bonanza:The Musical.

George has worked with: In Minnesota : Adam Linz, Carei Thomas, Jt Bates, Alden Ikeda, Michelle
Jacquelin Ferrier-Ultan, Anthony Cox, Michael Lewis, Dean Granros, Tim Glenn, Davu Seru, Anne Elias, Meg Emery-Elias, Andrew Broder, Andrew Lafkis, David Means Troy Zaushny, and others. Outside Minnesota he has performed and worked with;

Ornette Coleman, David Thomas, Chris Stamey, Myra Melford, Kip Hanrahan, Alex Chilton, Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock, Fred Frith, Butch Morris, Jad Fair, The Box Tops, Samm Bennett, Paul Haines, Amy Denio, Kevin Norton, Ann Rupel, Robbie McCauley, Tom Varner, Mark Dresser, Carei Thomas, Davey Williams, Chris Cochrane, Michael Lytle, and many others.


He left New York City in 1993 with wife and new baby, returning to the South after 15 years to live in Memphis TN. for six years.  In 1999 he moved to St Paul , Minnesota.

Awards:     2012 Inclusion in ‘The Mississippi Encyclopedia published by The Center for Southern Folklore at The University of Mississippi along with Robert  Johnson, BB King and many others.
2008    Jerome Foundation Composer’s Commissioning Program
2003    Jazz Musician of the Year by The City Pages.
2003    McKnight Composer’s Fellowship

Additional Education:

Mississippi State University BA, Jackson State University, Memphis State University, The University of Southern Mississippi, The Creative Music Studio and private studies with Jimmy Guiffre, Les Scott, Byard Lancaster, Kalaparusha and Wilber Moreland. Continued studies in computer technology using Cubase SX, Pro Tools,  Plogue Bidule, Ableton Live and numerous sound processing technologies.

Selected Discography:

Merciless Ghost on BandCamp-  early 2012-four web only  releases at

George Cartwrighton BandCamp- late 2011-four Innova releases re-released at georgecartwright.bandcamp,com

A Beautiful Western Saddle – Cuneiform , reissued 2010

Send Help- Innova Fall 2008

Curlew                    (DMG) May 2008 first Curlew lp reissued

The Ghostly Bee ( Innova) Jan 2006 George Cartwright
Gussie -Curlew (Roratorio) Dec. 2003
Live at Gus Lucky's limited edition of 436 lps with hand painted covers by Anne Elias
Mercury -Curlew- Sept 2003 (Cuneiform )
Black Ants Crawling - George Cartwright and GloryLand PonyCat – May 2003 (Innova)
Mindin’ Our Bidnes - Carei Thomas – (Roratorio) Sept 2002
Live in Minneapolis – Dennis Gonzales and Yells At Ells –(daagnim) Oct 2002
Meet The -Curlews - Curlew (Cuneiform) Jan 2003 (Cuneiform)
North America - Curlew - (Cuneiform) fall 2002)
"Meet the Curlews!" - Curlew (Cuneiform 2002)
The Memphis Years - George Cartwright (Cuneiform ) 2000
Fabulous Drop - Curlew (Cuneiform ) 1998
Paradise - Curlew (Cuneiform) 1996
Red Rope - in duet with Michael Lytle (CIMP) 1998
The Hardwood - Curlew (Cuneiform) 1992 live video
A Beautiful Western Saddle - Curlew (Cuneiform) 1989 words by Paul Haines, sung by Amy Denio
Bee - Curlew (Cuneiform) 1987
Meltable Snaps It with Michael Lytle and David Moss (RecRec Germany) 1986
Live in Berlin - Curlew (Cuneiform) 1986
Integrated Variables with Kevin Norton and Mark Dresser (CIMP) 1992
Plus, and in no particular order:
Coup De Tete American Clave); Unsettled Scores (Cuneiform)Hallelujah Anyway ( Remembering Tom Cora); Darn it! (American Clave) Bright Bank Elewhale (Corn Pride
Live at the Knitting Factory Vol 1 (Knitting Factory World)
The 20th Anniversary of the Summer of Love (Shimmy Disc)