Russell Johnson

  • Adjunct Faculty, Music — Trumpet
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    Russ Johnson, a trumpet instructor at Carthage, is a recent transplant to the Midwest after 23 years as a prominent member of New York City’s jazz community. He has released seven recordings as a leader or co-leader and has performed on more than 100 recordings as a sideman.

    The trumpeter 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 on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby.

    Mr. Johnson has performed in more than 40 countries. His groups have recently performed at jazz festivals in New York; Chicago; and Bergamo, Italy. In 2018, he was recognized as a “Rising Star” in the DownBeat Magazine critics’ poll and his Headlands quartet released a new recording. His previous recordings — “Meeting Point” and “Still Out To Lunch!” — received 4 1/2 and 4 stars, respectively, from DownBeat and appeared on many annual “best of” lists.

    He also has extensive experience as a contemporary classical trumpeter, with performances in a variety of Chicago and New York settings. Mr. Johnson’s commercial music credits include performances with Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Kelly Clarkson, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, and Michael Bublé. He has appeared on dozens of TV commercials and has performed as a featured soloist on the soundtracks for the films “Little Fockers,” “Undefeated,” and “Low Down.”

    Mr. Johnson is active as an educator/clinician, having taught at colleges and universities across the U.S. and Europe. In 2016, he won the campus-wide Stella Gray Teaching Excellence award at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

    • M.M. — Manhattan School of Music, 2000

    • B.M. — Manhattan School of Music, 1997