A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Johnny Russo founded his "East Hill Classic Jazz Group" in the mid-1980's and has been a fixture in the Central New York music scene ever since. A gifted trumpet and trombone player heavily influenced by Louis Armstrong, Johnny is highly respected among musicians as an entertainer and a stunning improviser. Johnny and guitarist Doug Robinson have performed for many years on regional concert stages and at major Cornell University events. They also performed on the main stage at Carnegie Hall in New York in April of 2003 along with 3 other members of their band.
Johnny has many recordings to his credit, going back to the mid '70s. His most recent CDs, "I Have Dreamed", "Bluebird From The Sky", and "Ithaca Our Home", are collaborations with Doug Robinson and mix jazz standards with original music. More info about Johnny Russo and his recordings can be found on the web at http://www.watershed-arts.com .
For 30 years Doug has had a diverse career of touring and session work as a vocalist, bassist, guitarist and producer with many world music, folk, country, pop, jazz and blues artists. He has toured extensively with the British guitar virtuoso Martin Simpson, and has appeared on several of Martin's recordings, most recently "A Nod to Bob" (Red House Records #CD154), the Bob Dylan tribute album. He also worked with David Lindley and Kelly Joe Phelps on Martin's critically acclaimed 'Cool & Unusual' (Red House Records #CD110), winner of the "Best Instrumental Album of the Year" award from the AFIM, the independent record label trade organization.
In addition to working frequently with Johnny Russo, Doug's recent projects include tours with Bob Brozman's band (The Thieves of Sleep), 5 consecutive seasons as staff musician at the famous "Festival D'Eté" World Music festival in Québec City, Canada, European tours with latin bluesman Tino Gonzales, festival performances with Charmaine Neville and European gypsy-swing masters Stochelo Rosenberg, Ionica Minune and Romane, recordings and performances with Rounder recording artists The Burns Sisters Band and the soundtracks to several PBS-TV programs. Doug performed at Carnegie Hall in April 2003 with Johnny Russo and his East Hill Classic Jazz Group and is also a member of "Prairie Doll" (an acoustic rock band led by award-winning songwriter and CDBaby artist Patti Witten) , the gypsy-swing band "Djug Django", and the Molly MacMillan Jazz Trio. More info about Doug Robinson is available on the web at http://www.watershed-arts.com/dougrobinson.html