Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has seven recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Russ has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, he has recorded and/or performed with a long list of the most prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby. Russ has performed in more than 40 countries across the globe. His groups have recently performed at the Chicago, Winter Jazz Fest (NYC) Hyde Park, (Chicago) and Bergamo, (Italy) jazz festivals.
His most recent recordings, Meeting Point (Relay Recordings) and Still Out To Lunch! (Enja Records) received 4 1/2 & 4 stars respectively from Down Beat Magazine and appeared on many "Best Recordings of 2014/5" lists including Down Beat, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, NYC Jazz Record and Magnet magazine. Russ will be releasing a new recording by his “Headlands” Quartet in 2017.
Russ is also active as an educator/clinician, having taught at colleges and universities across the U.S. and Europe. He currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin Parkside where he won the university wide “Stella Gray” Teaching Excellence award in 2016.