Benny Russell

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 syst, the Charlie ParkeR&Birthday Festival, and regular performances with the Next Legacy Orchestra