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Jonathan “Jazz” Russell: 15-Year Old Jazz Violin Prodigy Returns To Town Hall Theater

Jazz sensation Jonathan “Jazz” Russell returns to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, Friday, August 13, at 7 pm.
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Jazz sensation Jonathan “Jazz” Russell returns to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, Friday, August 13, at 7 pm.

Tuesday August 10, 2010

He has played with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Band, soloed with twenty major jazz bands, and traded licks with jazz legends Bucky Pizarrelli and Les Paul.  

    And he’s only 15.

Jazz violinist Jonathan “Jazz” Russell returns to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Friday, August 13.

    Russell is the talk of the jazz world.  He bridges generational and cultural gaps with improvised jazz, performing in Europe and throughout the United States at clubs and jazz festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Bohém Ragtime & Jazz Festival in Hungary.  

    “His last concert here was phenomenal,” says THT executive director Douglas Anderson.  “Playing with veterans three times his age, he was clearly the leader, knocking out one sizzling solo after another.  And he also turns out to be the sweetest kid we’ve ever met.”

     Russell released his first self produced CD in 2006 entitled "Sheik of Araby". His second CD, released in 2008, is entitled "Puttin' On The Ritz".

    An engaging kid with a mop of curly hair, Russell’s mature virtuosity on the violin is only slightly short of miraculous.  The New York Times writes "When he solos, he embraces his instrument and enters a private cocoon, where he conjures sophisticated improvisations on the melodies of jazz standards".

    At THT, Russell will be backed by the Bud Leeds Ensemble, a group of jazz professionals put together expressly for this event.  The ensemble includes drummer/vocalist Patricia Dean, guitarist Paul Asbell; Herb Bruce on trombone; Rob Guerrina on keyboards; and Peter Williams on bass.

    The Friday, August 13 concert is at 7 pm.  Tickets are $15, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 802 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday-Saturday, Noon-5) or at the door.

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