Benny Russell is a top flight jazz musician who really speaks in his medium and can relay his love of jazz to the audience (Beth Levin; The Global Jazz Network)
A virtuoso tenor saxophonist Benny Russell moved to New York shortly after his college graduation, and quickly formed a jazz orchestra called the NEW YORK ASSOCIATION – a seventeen-piece ensemble that featured such noted jazz artists as trumpeters Cecil Bridgewater and Tom Harrell, saxophonist John Purcell, trombonists Steve Turre and Robin Eubanks, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, and drummer Mike Clark. Since then, he has built an impressive list of credits. Besides arranging and performing for off-Broadway shows like Beehive, he’s worked with Otis Rush, Harry Belafonte, Mino Cinelu, Craig Harris, Jimmy Owens, Junior Cook, Mor Thium and a host of others.
Benny has played on many TV shows such as ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘A Different World’.
In 1995 he chaired the jazz division at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, also teaching jazz history. In February 2005, Russell was commissioned to write a Jazz score for Zora Neale Hurson’s play Cold Keener which was well received at Baltimore’s Loyola College. In June 2004, Benny was hired to chair the Jazz department at the Maryland Conservatory of Music.
He has produced a successful Count Basie 100th Birthday Celebration that featured the legendary Frank Foster and Grammy award winners Antonio Hart and Mark Gross. Signed to Arabesque Records Benny has made several releases, the second, entitled Miracles features James Spaulding, Cecil Bridgewater and many other luminaries.
He is director and founder of the Rock Spring Jazz Academy, and adjunct professor at the Harford Community College. He is a professional artist for RS Berkeley and endorses their instruments.