Monte Croft

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Monte Croft is a multi-instrumentalist who plays six instruments and counting—drums, vibraphone, keyboards, chromatic harmonica, bass guitar, and guitar are all part of an arsenal that actually includes his singing voice, bringing the count to seven. A brief stint at Columbia Records in the late '80s produced two fine jazz albums, and a number of compilations. Monte has performed and recorded with such diverse artists such as: Steve Jordan, Brian Blade, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Valerie Simpson, Bettye LaVette, Sean Puffy Combs, and Branford Marsalis. He spent 2012 as a member of the classic, platinum-selling R&B/funk unit The Average White Band. Monte Croft has performed regularly at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar in New York. He’s served as an emergency sub, playing guitar and organ on the 2022-2023 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman, starring Wendell Pierce. His onscreen work includes Boardwalk Empire, Luke Cage, and 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman. Croft’s composition “What Is Love,” as well as his work on Rhodes and Vibes, can be heard on the 2019 recording release of “A Little Love” by Quiana Lynell. Other recent recordings include Bettye LaVette’s Grammy–nominated Blackbirds (2020), the legendary Jimmy Heath’s final album Love Letter (2020), Ed Cherry’s number one album Are We There Yet (2023), and Brian Blade’s LIFECYCLES Vol 1 & II: Now! And Forevermore album (2023). Monte's chromatic harmonica can be heard on Branford Marsalis' soundtrack for the upcoming Netflix film Rustin (September 2023).

In Their Own Words
"I want each student to have the necessary tools and information to become a great and ever-evolving musician."

"Many decades as a professional musician have given me a wide array of experiences, including tours, concerts, night club performances, radio, television, movie soundtracks, numerous recordings, Broadway, as well as various teaching experiences at all levels. The things to which most musicians aspire, I've done. I can impart first-hand knowledge of these experiences, and prepare them well."