Born in Brooklyn, Earl McIntyre received his first musical training from his father (a gifted amateur musician) who saw to it that the entire family became proficient at playing brass instruments. While attending the High School of Music & Art, he studied trombone with John Clark, Jack Jeffers, Alan Raph and Benny Powell. It was during this period that he also developed relationships with composer William S Fischer and tuba player Howard Johnson. At Mannes College of Music, he studied bass trombone with Simone Karasick and tuba with Thompson Hanks. Later he studied arranging with Slide Hampton and Bob Brookmeyer. He also studied privately with Carmine Caruso.
Since then he has played with Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, Lester Bowie, The Band, Stevie Wonder, McCoy Tyner, Carla Bley, Lou Rawls, Jeffrey Osborne, Aretha Franklin, Cedar Walton, Levon Helm, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ellington Orchestra, the Thad Jones -Mel Lewis Orchestra (with whom he was associated for over 20 years), Slide Hampton, George Gruntz, the Mingus Big Band, Cecil Taylor, David Amram, the Carnegie Hall Jazz band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Chico O’Farrill, The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Fred Ho, Renée Manning and others.