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Making his home on the cross-border music scene in Detroit and Windsor, trumpet player/composer/jazz musician/educator Dr. Russ Macklem is a musical seeker, on a quest for truth and authenticity in art and life. This quest has taken Russ around North America: from his hometown of Kelowna, BC to Montreal, Boston, Toronto, St. Louis, Miami, and currently the Windsor/Detroit area.  Russ has performed with acclaimed artists and ensembles in many genres including Jimmy Heath, Cecil McBee, Dave Holland, The Marley Bros (Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani, and Damian), John Williams, Quincy Jones, Monica Mancini, Gregg Field, Dave Liebman, Weedie Braimah, Tom Scott, the Joe Sullivan Big Band, John Riley, Kirk MacDonald, John Daversa, Bobby Rydell, Dwight Adams, Vincent Chandler, The Toledo Jazz Orchestra, The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, The South Florida Jazz Orchestra, The Dave Dickey Big Band, Wycliffe Gordon, Montez Coleman, Marty Morrison, Willie Akins, Emmet Cohen, Frankie Valli, Dave Grusin, Jon Faddis, Danny Seraphine and CTA featuring Bill Champlin, Tal Cohen, Harvel Nakundi, Steve Reid, Adam Arruda, Brian Dickinson, and many others. Russ also co-lead the Toronto based group The Auburn Lights Quintet with guitarist Sam Dickinson, featuring legendary drummer Terry Clarke, saxophonist Kirk MacDonald, and bassist Duncan Hopkins.  A virtuoso performer, Russ is equally skilled as a lead and jazz trumpeter, and has performed in professional productions of musicals such as In the Heights. His lead trumpet playing is featured on the two most recent albums by the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band: Europa: Explorations for Jazz Ensemble and Justin Morell: Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra featuring Adam Rogers. As a jazz musician, Russ is a stylist on the trumpet, honing his individual voice on the instrument for over 20 years. He is inventive and exciting improvisor and composer, with roots in the Black Music tradition. As an educator, Russ has taught at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a Teaching Assistant. He also taught with Young Musicians Unite, a Miami-based non-profit providing musical instruction in inner-city schools. In addition, Russ has taught at summer camps, given masterclasses, and taught privately in Canada, the USA, and Mexico. Russ is a sessional lecturer at the University of Windsor.


Russ holds a B. Mus. in Jazz Studies from McGill University, a M.M. in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Jazz and Studio Music from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a Henry Mancini Institute Fellow on full scholarship, and TA for Grammy-Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch. He was the 2009 recipient of a $20,000 Canada Council for the Arts Grant for Studies at the New England Conservatory. Some of his teachers have included: Brian Lynch, Roger Ingram, Jim Manley, Chris LaBarbera, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Cecil McBee, John McNeil, Laurie Frink, and Joe Sullivan. One of his most important mentors, the great trumpeter Steve Reid, helped Russ gain his most important resources at a trumpet player.


In Windsor, Russ co-leads a collective bringing together musicians from Windsor and Detroit called UNITED. The aim of this collective is to re-unite musicians of two cites a mile apart, split apart by the pandemic border closure for almost two years. This collective has featured musicians such as Dwight Adams (trumpeter with Stevie Wonder), Louis Jones III (drums for Eric Lewis, Vincent Chandler), and Michael Palazzolo (bassist with Bob James). This May 2022, Russ was awarded the Elizabeth Havelock Grant from the Windsor Arts Council in order to expand UNITED’s reach in both the Windsor and Detroit communities. In Detroit and Windsor, Russ is an in-demand freelancer in multiple genres.

Russ plays a Calicchio 2 bell 10 leadpipe .453 bore trumpet handmade by John Duda, a pre-war F. Besson flugelhorn once owned by Claudio Roditi, a custom Giardinelli mouthpiece made for Maynard Ferguson in 1960, and custom mouthpieces handmade by Brett Kendall at Bob Reeves Brass.

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