Russ Nolan
 
  Saxophonist and composer RUSS NOLAN, 36, hails from Gurnee, IL, a near Chicago suburb. Through the first half of his life, it was not music that was his passion, but athletics. Practicing his jump shot and fastball as much as a prodigy puts time into their musical instrument, it was his dream to play professional sports. It was only after high school that he was bitten by the proverbial ‘jazz bug’. This new ‘infection’ led him to study at the widely acclaimed music department at North Texas State University and spent his summers at the feet of Chicago Saxophone Legends Joe Daley and Rich Corpolongo.

Returning home after school, Russ was active for over ten years on the Chicago music scene, absorbing the music and rubbing shoulders with the world-class touring groups at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase--as well as appearing as a sideman in the club himself on occasion; sitting in with Lin Haliday at the Get Me High Lounge and the legendary Von Freeman at the New Apartment Lounge; leading his own groups at the Bop Shop w/guitarist John McLean, the Get Me High Lounge, Martyrs and the Green Mill; collaborating with Violinist Zach Brock at the Hot House, Pete Miller’s, Katerina’s and the Jazz Showcase; and playing in Kurt Elling’s orchestra for Chicago’s Millennium Celebration.

Nolan’s big band arrangements of Kenny Garrett and Pat Metheny compositions (originally written for the One and Two O’Clock Lab Bands at NTSU) have been performed across the United States.

Always focused on musical growth, Russ has had personal study with David Liebman, Chris Potter, and Kenny Werner.

Continuing to true his metal with fire, Russ made the trek to pay the toughest dues of all… the Big Apple. Since arriving in March 2002, Russ has begun to emerge as a bandleader, performing in various New York City jazz clubs and other performance venues.

Russ is very committed to keeping jazz alive, and as a result, has an extensive tour in 2005 conducting clinics and adjudicating jazz festivals at the college, high school, and middle school level. His January-February 2005 schedule in the Chicago area includes clinics/performances with Northwestern University, Knox College, as well as numerous award-winning high school jazz programs.