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The Kennedy Center

Benny Russell



Biography

Saxophonist Benny Russell, a graduate of Morgan State University, at which time he started gigging for the Manhattans, the Four Tops, and Richard "Groove" Holmes in addition to several other artists who toured the area. Shortly after his college graduation, Benny moved to New York and quickly formed a jazz orchestra called the NEW YORK ASSOCIATION--a seventeen-piece ensemble that featured such noted jazz artists as trumpeters Cecil Bridgewater and Tom Harrell, saxophonist John Purcell, trombonists Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, and drummer Mike Clark.
Russell chaired the jazz division at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, where he also taught jazz history. While working at the Conservatory, he was able to launch a string of other cultural activities that served Brooklyn, including a program of workshops for high school students in the Brooklyn public school system, the Charlie Parker Birthday Festival, and regular performances with the Next Legacy Orchestra

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/29/2019: East River Jazz Collective

August 29, 2019 is the 99th anniversary of the 1920 birth of saxophonist and composer Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, the innovative creator of Bebop and straight-ahead jazz. East River Jazz Collective – In the Spirit of Bird, performed by The Kent Miller Quartet, offers unique ensembles and interpretations of Charlie Parker’s compositions as well as original music of their own.

Benny Russell