Headshot of Benny Russell

Benny Russell

Baltimore’s Benny Russell started clarinet at 7, tenor at 12, and by 15, was sitting in with the Morgan State University bands, In 1976 he enrolled there and started gigging for the Manhattans, the Four Tops, and others. After graduation, Benny moved to New York and formed a jazz orchestra called the New York Association, and besides arranging and performing off-Broadway, he's worked with Otis Rush, Harry Belafonte, Mino Cinelu, Craig Harris, Jimmy Owens, Junior Cook, Mor Thiam and others. He was also heard on The Cosby Show and A Different World. In 1995, Russell chaired the jazz division at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, where he launched workshops in the Brooklyn public school system, the Charlie Parker Birthday Festival, and performances with the Next Legacy Orchestra, his current band with co- directorJorge Sylvester.