Dave Russell - Saxophone

Plays saxophone with NJCB since 2008

Number of Years Playing an Instrument


Background Info

I started playing violin in 3rd grade. I switched to viola by 5th grade and then took up the saxophone in high school. I continued playing viola through high school but decided to major on the saxophone when I went off to college to be a music major. While in college I picked up flute and clarinet and had the opportunity to play in every conceivable type of musical group. I played in the concert band, orchestra, the Latin Jazz ensemble, saxophone quartet, clarinet quartet, contemporary music ensembles, anything I could get into! Ii also started gigging with Latin bands in NYC and with several professional big bands in the tri-state area. Then I took a 15-20 year hiatus without playing much of anything at all. When I was ready to get back to playing, the NJCB was just coming into existence and this group was my springboard back into the music world that I do so love! Since joining the NJCB I have been expanding my musical activities to include playing regularly with several local big bands and concert bands as well as doing some chamber music and subbing in whatever group needs a hand when I'm available. I love to play!

Meaningful Personal Musical Experience(s)

Back in my latin band days, I got to do a three week tour of Bolivia with one of the bands I played with "International Combo America." That was indeed one of the most memorable experiences of my life! Aside from getting so sick I thought I was going to die and not getting paid for 6 months because the bandleader went broke, the trip was extraordinary. We played in venues from the smallest of local dirt floor clubs to giant stadiums and crazy Carnival parades! I got to hear incredible music from local indigenous folk music to the latest latin pop of the time. I got to meet great people and visit beautiful places through the wonderful experience of sharing music!

Favorite Music Played with NJCB

Impossible question, there isn't much I don't like! But I particularly enjoy playing big band swing and oddly, baroque and older "classical." Oh, I am a sucker for anything Prokofiev.


Bicycling, hiking and vintage cars and motorcycles.



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This program has been made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Historic & Cultural Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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