Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor/leader
Russ Spiegel is a commissioned composer, writer, producer, and actor and holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from the City College of New York. Originally from Los Angeles, he relocated to Europe with his family as a teenager, spending almost twenty years in Germany where he concentrated on a music career.
Russ returned to the US in 2001, settling in New York City where his work as a musician continued to flourish. Alongside performing everything from solo guitar to running a 17-piece jazz orchestra featuring his own compositions and arrangements, Russ has released several CDs, written music for film, TV and musicals, toured Europe and Asia, taught college-level courses, run workshops and seminars, worked as a music copyist for Broadway shows and major-label recordings as well as having appeared in a number of feature films as both a musician and actor.
Awards:“Jazz Stipendium” City of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1999 (DM10,000). “Barbash Award” City College of New York 2004-2006, $3000. “Professional Music Scholarship” Berklee College of Music, 1986-1988.
A killer guitarist that’s simply welcome all over the world, Spiegel lays it down without pretense or drama and let’s his clean lines and solid playing provide all the drama and dynamic tension non-smooth jazz should have, even when he’s playing it light and easy. A tasty cat you should definitely get to know. -Chris Spector, Midwest Record
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
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)
An eloquent guitarist. -Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz
Russ Spiegel's first jazz release for a widely distributed international label is an impressive outing, focusing mostly on his inspired post-bop compositions. -Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
The scorching solos…drew applause every single time. -Arhan Sett. The Times of India
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
2011: Jamey Aebersold Masterclass Guest Artist & Workshop Clinician, University of North Carolina Big Band, Chapel Hill, NC. Instructor, New York Jazz Academy. 2009–2010: Clinician - Big Band Workshops: Santa Barbara Community College; Rio Tinto High School, Sacramento, California. Finalist for position of Jazz Lecturer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 2005–2008: Guitar Instructor & Band Coach for the hit Nickelodeon TV show “The Naked Brothers Band.” 2007: 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. 2002-2004: Guitar Instructor at Slope Music, Brooklyn. 2000: Guest Instructor for Landesjugend 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: Composition, Arranging, Guitar, Bass, Repertoire, Ear Training, Rhythm, Harmony/Theory, Improvisation, Combos, Cross-Cultural Improvisation, Music Copying and Music Business. Technology: Jazz Production, Logic, Finale. Styles: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Fusion, Cross-Cultural, Blues, Rock and Classical.
1. Big Band Performance: Coaching and working with big bands on repertoire and performance. 2. Rhythm Section Workshop: Coaching and working with rhythm section players on repertoire and performance. 3. Jazz Guitar Master Class: Coaching and working with students on technique, repertoire, and performance. 4. Jazz Arranging and Composition: Techniques and ideas to improve student's composition and arranging skills.