As a youngster, Russ could get a tune out of just about anything he got his
hands on (e.g. the accordion). After formal training in piano through the
Royal Conservatory of Music, Russ's interests were lured to the saxophone.
He was influenced by early radio and recording greats
such as Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Lee Allen, Paul Desmond, Stanley Turrentine,
King Curtis and Cannonball Adderley.
In the early 60's Russ played R&B and jazz as a member of the "Silhouettes",
a house band in the original Club Blue Note on Toronto's Yonge Street
(along with Doug Riley, Steve Kennedy, Dianne Brooks, Shirley Mathews, etc.).
He went on to head a group called "The Ramblers" at Toronto's Zanzibar Tavern,
during which time he turned down an offer by Ronnie Hawkins to join the Hawks.
With mixed feelings, he heeded his parents' advice to stay in college and not
become a full-time musician at that time.
With over 60 credits in the recording industry, Russ has worked with popular
Toronto groups such as "The Regents, with Dunc & Judy" and "The Majestics"
featuring Shawn and Jay Jackson. He appeared with the Majestics on a regular
television series of CBC called "Where It's At". Russ also gigged with many other
groups including "Robbie Laine and the Disciples", "Ritchie Knight and the Midnights",
"Little Caesar and The Consuls", 100 Huntley Street's "Stacey", to name but a few.
Now living in Barrie just north of Toronto, Russ regularly performs with
"The Martels Rock and Roll Show" (www.themartels.com),
the Figleaf Jazz Band
(www.figleafjazz.com), The Groove Project (www.waynebuttery.com),
L!NKS (www.kenlosell.com), JazzTex, plus others in the Huronia area.
Russ has also appeared with the likes of Jackie Wilson, Jack DeKeyzer,
George Oliver and Gangbuster, John Findlay, Chuck Jackson, Peter Boynton
and Brian Gauci.
Gifted with a quick ear, Russ feels quite comfortable improvising on the tenor,
alto, soprano and bari sax in many genres, including blues, jazz, R&B, rock and country.
Having studied music at Humber College, he teaches saxophone to a select number of serious students.