Born: April 30, 1968 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Saxophonist and composer RUSS NOLAN hails from Gurnee, IL, a near Chicago suburb. Through the first half of his life, it was not music that was his passion, but athletics. Practicing his jump shot and fastball as much as a prodigy puts time into their musical instrument, it was his dream to play professional sports. It was only after high school that he was bitten by the proverbial jazz bug. This new infection led him to study at the widely acclaimed music department at North Texas State University and spent his summers at the feet of Chicago Saxophone Legends Joe Daley and Rich Corpolongo....
Drawing from his education at the University of North Texas, where he played in the 2:00 Lab band and wrote big band arrangements for the renowned 1:00 Lab Band, Russ is an active clinician in jazz education. He conducts jazz improvisation, big band arranging, and jazz composition workshops at both the college and high school level. Russ taught jazz improvisation for three years at the award-winning jazz program of New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL, led by Jim Warrick.
Unique to most professional musicians, Russ has also attained ten years of professional sales experience, five of which has been in Music Marketing. In addition to teaching music itself, he can guide students in negotiating the ever-changing music business to their advantage by learning the basics of sales and marketing and how to apply it to the industry.
"Russ Nolan was prepared, organized, articulate, and passionate in his improvisation clinic with our students of varying abilities. He purposely creates situations where students actively participate in the learning process, thus generating a very effective learning experience!"
--Mary Jo Papich, IAJE President