The Kurland Agency was founded by Ted Kurland in 1975 in Boston. At the time, he was a recent graduate from Brandeis University with a major in Economics. After Kurland graduated, he first worked for a small Boston talent agency, an invaluable experience that launched his career into the talent booking business. With two partners, he later started All American Talent, an agency that booked primarily blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, George Thorgood, Ko Ko Taylor, among others. All American Talent turned into Ted Kurland Associates (now The Kurland Agency) and the agency’s emphasis shifted to booking jazz performers.
Eminent jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton, was the first artist to become a client of the new company. Soon after, other major performers such as Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, Charles Mingus, Isaac Hayes, Dexter Gordon, Nina Simone, Modern Jazz Quartet, Jaco Pastorius, Ravi Shankar, Astor Piazzolla, Stephane Grappelli, Tony Williams, David Grisman, Freddie Hubbard and many other celebrated jazz musicians including Wynton Marsalis joined the growing family of artists represented by the agency.
TKA grew over time as more musicians were added to the roster and the agency began to handle their clients’ recording, music publishing, movie soundtrack and video production and licensing deals. In the early 1980’s, the agency expanded their bookings internationally and became well established in every major and minor market in the world, arranging tours throughout Asia, South America and Europe for the artists on the agency’s roster.
The agency is focused into three major divisions: President Jack Randall directs the domestic bookings and A&R signings, Senior Vice President David Sholemson oversees management of Pat Metheny and Kurland directly supervises International bookings and co-ordinates all operations as CEO.
Although TKA remains well-known for representation of major jazz artists, they now focus on prominent performers from all fields such as blues, world and pop music. As the staff of The Kurland Agency celebrates over 40 years of service, they are proud of their growth and success in the entertainment business.