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Russ Spiegel

Born: March 30, 1962    Primary Instrument: Guitar

Russ Spiegel

Russ Spiegel was born in Los Angeles, and raised in Santa Monica, California. While in high school he moved with his family to Germany and traversed back and forth between there and the US for a number of years. While in Europe, he established himself as an award-winning, in-demand musician, touring the Continent with various ensembles, performing at well-known Jazz festivals, and appearing on numerous television and radio shows.

In 2001, Russ returned to the US, settling in the mecca of New York and quickly found himself busy on the music scene. Alongside performing - from solo guitar to running his ensemble The Russ Spiegel Jazz Orchestra (a 17-piece band featuring Russ's compositions and arrangements) ” Russ is a commissioned composer who has released several CDs, written music for film, TV, and musicals, toured Europe and Asia, taught college-level courses, run workshops & seminars, given private instruction, and has copied music for Broadway shows and major-label recordings, as well as having appeared in a number of feature movies as both a musician and actor. Russ has also worked the last four years as the on-set music instructor for the hit Nickelodeon TV show, “The Naked Brothers Band.”...
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Awards:

Jazz Stipendium (Jazz Grant) City of Frankfurt, Germany: 10,000 German Marks, 1999.

”...an impressive outing...inspired post-bop compositions.”
-Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

”Channeling the spirited energy of hard-bop with the progressive aesthetics of rock music, Spiegel carves out his own niche in the contemporary jazz scene.”
-Troy Collins, All About Jazz

”Intellectual to the core, melodic and elegant, [Spiegel's] music will engage and challenge you at the same time.”
-Ed Blanco, EJazzNews

”A killer guitarist that’s simply welcome all over the world, Spiegel lays it down without pretense or drama and lets his clean lines and solid playing provide all the drama and dynamic tension non-smooth jazz should have.”
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record

”Spiegel plays with a clear, bright sound and his solos reveal a sure-footed rhythmic instinct and a harmonic sense which may be rooted in bebop but which also leans towards the future.”
-Charles Alexander, Jazzwise (London)

As a Leader

Transplants
Ruzztone Music
2009
Tracks: Count Up; The Very Thought of You; Kangaroo; Number One; Chain Reaction; Undertow; I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart; The Rub; I Should Care.
Personnel: Russ Spiegel: Guitar; Compositions & Arrangements; Reeds: Arun Luthra, Craig Yaremko, Tim Armacost, Dan Pratt, Frank Basile, Trumpets: Colin Brigstocke, Sharif Kales, David Smith, Charles Porter, James Smith, Trombones: Michael Boscarino, John Yao, Jack Davis, Darrell Hendricks, Rhythm: Rachel Eckroth (p), Yoshi Waki (b), Owen Howard (dr), Todd Isler (perc), Special Guest Vocalist: Michael Camacho.

Chimera
SteepleChase
2007
Tracks: Chimera; Polychrome World; The Last March; Cherokee; Wo Bleibt Die Seele; Good Night; Herr Boehnke.
Personnel: Russ Spiegel: Guitar; David Smith: Trumpet; Arun Luthra: Alto and Soprano Saxophone; Nick Mancini: Vibraphone; Gary Wang: Bass; Anthony Pinciotti: Drums.


Twilight
Doublemoon/Challenge
2001
Tracks: Jeannine; Twilight; Number One; Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me; Giant Steps; Brother Grimm; Peaceful; Fourth Floor; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.
Personnel: Russ Spiegel: Guitar; Barbara Dennerlein: Hammond Organ; Derrick James: Alto Sax; Christian Meyers: Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Jürgen Seefelder: Tenor Sax; Alberto Menendez: Tenor Sax; Allen Jacobsen: Trombone; Torsten DeWinkel: Acoustic Guitar; Joerg Reiter: Piano; Thomas Stabenow: bass; Sebastian Merk: drums; Omar Plasencia: percussion.

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Primary Instrument:
Guitar

Location:
Brooklyn, NY

Willing to teach:
Beginners

Credentials/Background:
Teaching Experience:
2005 – 2008: Guitar Instructor & Band Coach for the hit Nickelodeon TV show “The Naked Brothers Band.”
2007:Online Facilitator, Masters Level, Jazz Arranging Course, Boston University.
2004-2006: Graduate Assistant to undergraduate jazz ensembles, City College; Instructor, National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, Connecticut.
2006: Guest Instructor, State of Hesse youth championship small ensemble and big band winners (Jugend jazzt), Germany.
2004-2006: Instructor, National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, Connecticut; Graduate Assistant to undergraduate jazz ensembles, City College.
2002-2004: Guitar Instructor at Slope Music, Brooklyn.
2000: Instructor for State of Hesse Youth Big Band, Germany.
1998-2000: Instructor, Jazz Guitar Master Class, Rhythm Section Workshop, and Jazz Standards Workshop for Kulturwerkstatt Waggong Frankfurt, Germany.
1999: Director, Jazz Improvisation and Rhythm Section Workshop for U.S. Army Band, Wiesbaden, Germany.
1993-97: Instructor, Professional Program, Future Music School, Aschaffenburg, Germany. Contributed to textbooks for use in Harmony/Theory, Ear-Training and Guitar instruction.
1988-92: Director, Jazz Workshop, Jazzclub Rödermark, Germany.
1987-88: Instructor, Assabett School for Continuing Education, Marlboro, Massachusetts; Mercuri Music, Westboro Massachusetts.
Subjects: Guitar, Bass, Repertoire, Ear Training, Rhythm, Harmony/Theory, Composition, Improvisation and Combos. Styles: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Fusion, Blues, Rock and Classical.

Education:
2004-2006: M.A. in Jazz Performance, City College, New York. Studies with Adam Rodgers, Paul Bollenback, Ben Monder and John Patitucci. BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, A Section.
1987-2000: Private lessons with Jerry Bergonzi, Jon Damian, Mike Longo and Jonathan Kreisberg.
1986-88: Certificate of Music, Berklee College of Music, Boston. Recipient of Professional Music Scholarship. Studies in Performance (Guitar), Arrangement and Composition. Instructors: Brett Wilmott, Jim Odgren, Garrison Fewell, Charles Chapman, and Al Defino.
1982-1984: B.A. in Philosophy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Workshops and Seminars:
Having taught in schools, universities, and a variety of workshops, and with an extensive amount of experience in all aspects of music creation, I am available for workshops and seminars. I teach the following subjects:
Jazz, Rock, Blues, Latin Guitar
Improvisation
Arranging and Composition
Rhythmic skills
Big Band performance
Small band coaching
Private Instruction:
Over 25 years experience teaching all levels and all ages, I am currently accepting applications for new students in the New York area. Ask me about my rates.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
JAZZ WORKSHOP PROPOSAL -Playing Jazz- For: Guitarists, Entire Class or Specific Instrumentalists Level: Beginner to Advanced Section 1: Repertoire Topics: • Learning tunes • Seeing/hearing intervals for chords & melodies • Playing in other keys • Playing in other styles/time signatures • Learning from recordings (increasing depth of knowledge & various interpretations) • Transcription • Section 2: Solo Concepts Topics: • Rhythmic Superimposition • “Pre–Hearing” Chord Changes, Rhythms & Melodies • Chordal–based ideas • Rhythmic Cells • Appoggiatura • The Stop–Chorus • Advanced scalar/melodic ideas • Freeing the Ego (Pure Expression) • Section 3: Interaction Topics: • Comping concepts • Playing over bar lines via rhythmic superimposition/hemiolas • Hearing/Feeling 4–bar, 8–bar & Song Forms • The Bass/Drum Nexus • Intensity/Density • Breathing • Recognizing Patterns • “Filling in the Blanks” • Interaction/listening with/to other band members • Length of Workshop: Variable: based on time/availability/finances. Minimum 2 hours but may go over 2 days (up to 4 hours/day). Number of Students: 3 or more. Requirements: Closed room, drum set, piano, guitar & bass amplifiers, music stands. Students should bring notebooks and writing utensils as well as their instruments. Number of Instructors: 1 Price: negotiable

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  • CD/LP/Track Review
    Chimera by Jerry D'Souza
  • CD/LP/Track Review
    Chimera by Troy Collins
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