Russ Wilson’s “In the Groove of April” 20, 2015
RUSS WILSON – Singer, Drummer, Conductor, Entrepreneur.
For 35 years Russ has worked as a professional musician and has made a name for himself playing many different styles of music including Jazz, Rock, Country, Gospel, Blues, R&B, pit work for Broadway style shows and Symphonic music.
Of all these Jazz remains his first true love.
He’s had the gracious opportunity to share the stage with quite a few famous musicians during that time.
Charles Dungee (Nancy Wilson & Sarah Vaughn), Melva Houston (world renown Jazz singer),
Jimmy Thackery (The Nighthawks), Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Mookie Brill (world renown singer and musician), Hubert Sumlin (Howlin’ Wolf’s guitarist for 25 years), Chicago Bob Nelson (The Heartfixers), Jerry “Boogie” McCain (She’s Tough!), Charlie Musselwhite (world famous Harmonica player),
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones (Bass player for Muddy Waters & Howlin’ Wolf), David Johansen (New York Dolls),
Levon Helm (THE BAND), Carey Bell (world famous harmonica player), Skeeter Brandon (Hwy 61),
Chris Thomas King (Oh Brother Where Art Thou), Dave Maxwell (pianist with Freddie King) and
Bob Margolin (guitarist for Muddy Waters).
Since 1989 Russ has played drums and vocalized on hundreds of recordings. To date he has released 9 albums of his own.
After touring and traveling for many years playing with various blues bands Russ decided to start one of his own. With the help of his good friend and guitarist Marc Brookshire they formed
THE MIGHTY MIGHTY MEN in 2001.
In late 2003 he started his second musical organization called THE NOUVEAU-PASSE ORCHESTRA playing the music that he grew up listening to, vintage jazz and dance band music of the 20’s and 30’s. The orchestra ranges in size from 10 to 16 pieces. He has also formed a Dixieland/Swing band called
THE RUSS WILSON SWINGTETTE.
To add to this roster there is also a standard big band (Russ Wilson And His Famous Orchestra) and a
40 piece concert orchestra. In February of 2016 he premiered his Euphonic Ragtime Orchestra. Russ still finds time to do freelance work for other greats such as Wendy Jones, Hank Bones, Bruce Lang
and the world renown FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND.
In 2007 Russ made his premier as conductor with his concert orchestra performing George Gershwin’s RHAPSODY IN BLUE. Since then he has produced numerous concerts and shows. Of those most notably “RHAPSODY – The music of the King of Jazz, Paul Whiteman,” his ART DECO REVUES and his annual holiday show “HAVE YOURSELF A SWINGIN’ LITTLE CHRISTMAS.
Russ is planning to do the Gershwin’s “Rhapsody” again along with other vintage orchestrations and 5 original jazz compositions in his forthcoming “Experiment In Modern Music” in May of 2017.
In September of 2008 he took a break from band leading to tour with JIMMY THACKERY AND THE DRIVERS.
With that tour of duty ending in December 2010 Russ went back to being a band leader and running his own businesses, THE WILSON MUSIC COMPANY and WONDERTONE RECORDS putting all of his musical aggregations under one roof and one label.
Russ, who considers himself an “amateur historian,” has amassed a collection of over 4000 records (33’s, 45’s, 78’s and cylinders) and 8000 orchestrations dating from the turn of the century to the 1960’s.
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