…is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator and record company founder. He has been based in the Boston area since the late 1970’s.
His work with the Either/Orchestra, the ten piece jazz/Latin/Ethiopian band he founded in 1986 has earned him a Grammy nomination, endless critical accolades, and performances around the world. The E/O has released ten albums and a DVD, with two new records slated for release in 2016-17.
Russ and the E/O have collaborated with the greats of Ethiopian music, including Mahmoud Ahmed, Teshome Mitiku, and Mulatu Astatke, who recorded Russ’ composition “Azmari” with his own band. The E/O’s 2004 concert in Addis Ababa was released as a double CD on the Ethiopiques from France, the only album by a non-Ethiopian group included in this prestigious series.
Russ also music directs, plays and sings in Lookie Lookie, an eight piece band devoted to the revival of 1960’s Latin Bugalu music. He does regular work as a studio player and arranger for rock, pop, commercial and jazz recordings.
He teaches music history – pop, classical, jazz, blues – at Lasell College in Newton Massachusetts – as well as instruments and band at Johnson Elementary School in Nahant Massachusetts. He regularly serves as a visiting artist or guest clinician at high school and colleges. He also writes about music for various websites.
As founder of Accurate Records, Russ has helped bring over 100 albums to the marketplace, for artists as diverse as Medeski Martin & Wood, Morphine, the Alloy Orchestra and the Ghost Train Orchestra.