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
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.