April 15, 2021 by 1888media
With a 30-yr pedigree as composer, bandleader, International touring artist and session player with the likes of Jon Batiste, Russell Hall, Jimmy McGriff, and Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, multi-instrumentalist Nick Russo has joined the esteemed list of educators offering courses via JamPlay, the leading online service providing guitar instruction. Russo joins a faculty of 100 teachers that includes stalwarts Steve Stevens, Lita Ford, Tosin Abasi, Kaki King, Tony MacAlpine, Phil Keaggy and Bumblefoot.
For his curriculum “One Chord Blues Jam,” Russo offers students 35 in-depth lessons covering many iterations and styles, ranging from complex forms that include Jazz to the basic 12-bar formula. Imparting his rhythmic and melodic phrasing philosophies over a single chord jam with both fingers and picks, as well as on acoustic and electric guitar, students can learn theory but also learn how to jam like Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton’s Cream.
Proficient on an assortment of instruments, including banjo, resonator, guitar, electric bass, organ, Rhodes, harmonium and drums, Russo embraces the full spectrum of communal and artistic expression, ”My musical life has always been surrounded by an eclectic combination of unique musicians and scenes. My dream is that people of all races and origins live, play, and share all our different world musics and cultures together as one united race, without fear – one love!”
Over his storied career, the Queens-based Russo has played at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Met Gala and on Good Morning America and has toured/recorded and/or worked with Jon Batiste, Patrick Bartley (from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), Grammy-nominated actress Antonique Smith, Golden Globes winner Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Terry Waldo, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Anastasia René, Mona’s Hot Four, Gordon Au’s Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra, and Sir Paul McCartney while performing at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s home. He also appeared in the Sam Mendes film “Away We Go” and PBS Masterpiece, “The Chaperone.
Crowned the winner of the 2004 International Jazz Workshop at The BANFF Centre in Canada, his 2006 debut album Ro was a critical darling with glowing reviews from DownBeat, Jazz Times and All About Jazz.
In addition to his extensive work in the jazz realm, he’s also the editor of GRP Chords (Cherry Lane Music/Hal Leonard) and the author of the ‘Metallica – Legendary Licks’ series whereby he transcribed many of the band’s iconic riffs from their seminal work between 1983-1988 (Volume 1) with a subsequent volume chronicling their Black album.
In concert with the JamPlay course, Russo announced a new interview series hosted on his YouTube channel that spotlights other talented musicians, creators and educators. The inaugural episodes include engaging in-depth conversations with vocalists Anastasia René (Charles Neville, Vince Welnick) and Keith Anthony Fluitt (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones). Future guests include Russell Hall, Charles Turner, Alphonso Horne, and Jack Licitra.
On the recording front, Nick’s begun work on the 3rd album from The Scooches, a genre-blending Americana collective he co-founded with vocalist Betina Hershey and its counterpart, the Hot Jazz Jumpers who honor the early 20th century era of swing jazz and jump blues.
“His tone is very near perfect – big and bold, but still subtle very full in the line of players like Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, and Tal Farlow.” Vintage Guitar
“A fluid straightahead player with a globalist outlook. For a guy with a book of Metallica transcriptions under his belt, Russo cultivates wonderfully pure jazz tones” JazzTimes
“His approach to improvisation, featuring for the most part a warm Jim Hall-like tone, is flexible enough to feel credible whatever the context. Nick Russo is clearly a guitarist worth watching.” All About Jazz
“Nick Russo is a fantastic tutor for kids and adults. He makes ‘learning fun.’ I don’t have any background in music but Nick made it easy for me to understand the notes and how it works.” Melissa, Ukulele Student