Live performance, composing, arranging, teaching and recording.
Gus is from Maui, Hawaii and graduated from the University Of Oregon 1983 with a Bachelors degree in music. Piano and flute were his main instruments in college, but his professional work has also lead him into organ and digital keyboards. For the last 30 years he has been teaching and performing almost every musical style imaginable: jazz, latin, classical, blues, rock, country, gospel, broadway, and funk.
As a soloist, he plays regularly in Eugene and the Willamette Valley area, playing classic jazz, standards, blues and New Orleans piano. Gus has shared the stage with Bo Diddly, Elvin Bishop, Cris Cain, Curtis Salgato, Paul Delay, The West Coast Rhythm Kings and Tiny Tim. As a band leader, he's involved with a wide variety of projects: The Gus Russell Trio is in the tradition of the classic jazz piano trio, his quartet features vocals and guitar, steeped in the straight-ahead jazz tradition, adding some funky blends into the mix. As a side man he currently plays with The Jive Masters, Deb Cleveland, The Barbara Healy Band, Bossanaire, Laurie Hammond and Soulicious. He has performed at the Bumbershoot, the Crystal Ball Room, Portland Art Museum, Portland Blues Festival, and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. He has been a featured artist at the Hinman Winery Jazz Festival, Art in the Vineyard, Sylvan Ridge, and many festivals through out the Northwest.
Gus has been composing, arranging, and engineering since 1988. He composed music for the documentaries "The Greenest Building" and “Pre Fontaine: Fire on the Track”, worldwide theater trailers for Dolby, the film “The Independent”, and many sports and educational videos. His studio work has kept him very proficient with ProTools, electronic music production, sound-design and audio Post Production. As a session musician he has played on numerous CDs; including recordings for Blue Moon, Don Latarski, Barbara Healy, Leon Smith, Eileen Hemphill-Haley, Beth Singer, The Revelators and Brenda May.
Gus has also been a piano teacher for over 25 years. He has been an adjunct professor at Lane Community College since 2002; and teaches privately through his own studio focusing on jazz, classical, blues, gospel, New Orleans and contemporary keyboard styles. General musicianship, theory, classic repertoire, listening and ear training are the basis of his teaching approach. Current students range from beginners to working professionals. He has also been an accompanist for Modern Dance classes at the University of Oregon since 2001; playing piano, djembe, doumbek, and Electronica Music created on the iPad.