Ladd McIntosh has orchestrated music for over 125 major motion pictures. His expertise in orchestration continues a long career as jazz composer, arranger, jazz educator, music publisher and big band leader.
As a student at Ohio State University, he gained national attention in the 1960s with his composing/arranging skills. He won best jazz composer awards at five major college jazz festivals and was the subject of articles in both Downbeat magazine and the New York Times. Ladd organized, conducted and wrote the entire library for the Ohio State Jazz Workshop Band which took first place at the very first American College Music Festival in Miami Beach, Florida in 1967. He also won the Duke Ellington Composer Award at that festival.
After a brief stint playing in show bands in Las Vegas, Ladd returned to Ohio State and finished his Masters degree. In the fall of 1970 he began a productive five year stay in Utah as Visiting Asst. Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Utah and then as Director of Jazz Studies at Westminster College. He turned down offers from Stan Kenton and others in order to work in Utah. While there, Ladd’s University of Utah band received numerous accolades for a 1972 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. That same year, his original rock opera "Today Is a Good Day to Die" was performed in Chicago, Miami and New England to rave reviews.
He is considered a pioneer in the field of jazz education.
Ladd moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1975. After teaching at the Dick Grove Music School, he began a 19-year association with California State University, Northridge in 1977, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz arranging and jazz ensembles. McIntosh taught improvisation at the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute for four years. He has published over 100 compositions for various ensembles. His pieces have been performed all over the U.S. and abroad.
He has performed as guest soloist/composer/conductor at various jazz festivals, universities and high schools throughout the U.S. and has received numerous commissions to write original works for college and high school jazz bands.
Ladd is known as a man who has a penchant for unusual and off beat titles for his compositions. Some of the more interesting include: A Quadrant of Frogs and One Great Hysterical ‘Ribbet’, Raoul at the Zepp Club, Hollywood Bull Shtick, The Incredible Tail of Marula Pyps, Music for a Different Planet Dying in Another Time, Forever Lost in My Mind’s Own Eye, The Epic Plight of the Furbish Lousewort, The Avenging Angel and Ichabod Crane, The Angry Macrophage, Dried Gooshies, Ride the Night Beast, Taco Tee Shirt, and Steaks ‘n’ Beans at Mormon Lake Lodge.
He led the All-Star High School Jazz Band at the Monterey Jazz Festival six years in a row, during which time he performed with Clark Terry, Max Roach, Oliver Nelson, Patrick Williams, Bill Watrous and Gerry Mulligan, among others.
The Ladd McIntosh Big Band roared to life in the summer of 1980. Made up of studio pros with a staggering amount of credits, the band enjoys a reputation for excitement, musicality and great soloists. Ladd has composed or arranged the entire library. In September 2004 the band released two new CDs "Temptation" and "Ride the Night Beast." Both CDs are available here on our website or at CDbaby.com.
In 1992, Ladd began orchestrating music for films. Ladd has orchestrated film scores on 126 major motion pictures including DESPICABLE ME 2, THE EQUALIZER, COWBOYS AND ALIENS, SMURFS, UNSTOPPABLE, THE TOWN, SHREK FOREVER AFTER, PRINCE OF PERSIA, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA, PRINCE CASPIAN, all of the SHREK films, DEJA VU, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, GLADIATOR, THE ROCK, ARMAGEDDON, FACE OFF, SPEED, THE LION KING, ANTZ, THE THIN RED LINE, CRIMSON TIDE, TWISTER, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, to name a few.
Ladd was named 2007Alumnus of the Year by the Ohio State University School of Music. That same year, the Ohioana Library awarded him their Music Citation.
Ladd started The Ladd McIntosh Swing Orchestra in 2007. This band plays classic swing music from the 1930's and 1940's, including hits from Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson and many others, plus Ladd's own arrangements of standards from the Swing Era.