“Grade A performer/composer whose nature is sensitive yet he is endowed with
technical facility and vivid imagination”
“His compositions reflect a polished mix of mainstream jazz with romantic vocals ” -Baltimore City Paper
“His touch on the instrument creates a colorful interpretation of old American song book style jazz with advanced modern flavor, and swings hard!” -Music Journal Monthly
“A fresh new voice on the NY scene. Watch out for this cat he his going to do great things” -Kenny Werner, Pianist
Saxophonist/Composer Russell Kirk in his relatively short, but rather illustrious career has developed a unique and innovative sound. A combination of highly developed facility on the saxophone with mature expression as a performer make Russell a rising force on the scene. Defiantly one of the faces two watch less than 30 years old.
Kirk, a Buffet Crampon USA Performing Artist, is regularly heard throughout the New York metropolitan area. As a solo artist, Russell has performed and recorded with a diverse array of celebrated groups, ranging from The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic. In early 2009 Kirk was signed to Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music record label and will produce his debut album later this year.
Composition plays a very large part in Russell's total musical picture. He is a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. This grant funding helped Russell pave the way for a self-produced album entitled Black & White, released in 2007 and is currently available on itunes. Kirk’s compositions also awarded him a residency at the John F. Kennedy Center with the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program.
In 2005, after Graduating from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University, Russell began touring various countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East performing for US troops with singer/songwriter Jenny Boyle. When not touring for the U.S.O, Russell attends New York University on a scholarship from the Eubie Blake Foundation. At NYU, Russell is an adjunct faculty member in the Steinhardt School, heads a music outreach program for inner city youths in Harlem & the East Village, interns at Saturday Night Live and plays in various ensembles with John Scofield, Chris Potter, and Lenny Pickett.
Other groups Russell has performed with include: The Soulful Symphony, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, The Eubie Blake Legacy Band, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and Rumba Club. Prominent artists he has worked with include: Kenny Werner, Sam Rivers, Gary Thomas, Dennis Chambers, Mike Formanek, Mike Clark, Kevin Mahogany, Cuba Gooding Sr., and Vusi Mahlasela. As a leader, Russell Kirk and his band have opened for Herbie Hancock at The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Other festivals have included the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference (IAJE), Milford Jazz Festival, The Federal Hill Jazz & Blues Festival, and many others.