Russ Kaplan

Russ Kaplan is a musical storyteller. A creatively restless composer and versatile keyboardist, his diverse musical obsessions have led him through the worlds of jazz, rock, and theatre music. His newest project is a band that brings all these elements seamlessly together - a postmodern jazz supergroup known simply as “Russ Kaplan + 7.” Taking Jazz into a high-concept narrative realm, RK+7 tells fantastic stories through Kaplan’s evocative compositions, which draw on influences from dixieland jazz to ambient rock.

Kaplan's debut album as a bandleader - The Ulysses Cycle - is a 20-song narrative suite based on Homer's Odyssey. Russ had been searching for a story to musicalize that would allow him to compose in all of the eclectic styles that fascinate him, and which captures the ideals he loves best about playing jazz: spontaneity, excitement, thinking on your feet. The Odyssey, which tells the tale of a cunning hero traveling through exotic lands as he struggles home from war, was clearly the perfect fit.

Russ originally studied Theater Directing at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, where he also studied Jazz performance with legendary saxophonist Eric Kloss. In New York he has played with a diverse array of Rock, Jazz and Americana bands, as well as composing music for the hit Off-Broadway musical In Transit. The amazing players that bring Russ' tunes to life are trumpet player Jonathan Powell (Eddie Palmieri, Blitz the Ambassador), saxophonists Kyle Saulnier (Awakening Orchestra) and Mike McGinnis (Stu and the Negro Problem, The Four Bags), guitarist Tom Gavin (Moore & Sons), bassist Moppa Elliott (Mostly Other People Do the Killing), drummer Wayan Zoey (The Funk Ark), and percussionist Rohin Khemani (Red Baraat).




Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.