The best of both worlds when Latin meets jazz. The Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project features outstanding jazz soloists, rich, Afro-Cuban inspired rhythms, and unique arrangements of jazz standards.
About the Artist
Craig Russo- Drumset artist and percussion Craig Russo has a special interest in Afro-Cuban music styles. He has traveled to Cuba several times to study at the prestigious National School of Arts in Havana. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Craig has worked as a Latin percussionist and drumset artist for twenty years, performing on the east coast and in the Midwest with a wide variety of jazz, salsa, Latin jazz, and R&B groups.
Doug Little- Currently based in Minneapolis, Doug Little is widely recognized and honored as both alto saxophonist and composer. He received the prestigious McKnight Fellowship in 1998 and, more recently, a Jerome Foundation grant to study music in Cuba. He has performed at festivals and clubs throughout the world as leader of his own group and as member of The Motion Poets.
Chip McNeill- Chip McNeill is an internationally known tenor saxophonist, most notably through long associations with Arturo Sandoval and Maynard Ferguson. He appeared on Arturo Sandovals grammy winning recording, "Hot House". Chip is also recognized as an outstanding educator and currently serves as Chairman of Jazz Studies at The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Jeff Helgesen- Jeff is former featured trumpet player with the Ray Charles Orchestra, and is on one of the most respected and in-demand musicians in the region. He now teaches and leads several ensembles of his own, as well freelances as a studio musician and clinician.
Sean Parsons- Sean Parsons is a versatile pianist, trombonist and composer who is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Jazz Studies at University of Illinois. Sean maintains a busy schedule as both performer and educator.
Toby Curtright- Bassist Toby Curtright is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Jazz Studies at the University of Ilinois, Champaign-Urbana. He frequently works as a guest artist and educator at universities and festivals throughout the region, as well as maintaining a busy schedule as one of the areas premier bassists.
Jeff Magby- Drumset artist and percussionist Jeff Magby is one of the regions most in-demand musicians. After completing Bachelor and Masters degrees in percussion performance, Jeff settled in Urbana, IL, where he maintains a busy schedule teaching and performing a wide variety of music styles.
Chris Mahieu- Pianist Chris Mahieu recently finished a Master's Degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since then, he has moved to Chicago to pursue playing professionally and teaching piano. While in Champaign, Chris performed with the salsa group Adelante, The Pocket Big Band, and Orquestra Estilo Chicago.
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