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Russ Spiegel

Groovy, swinging, and sophisticated at the same time, versatile guitarist and composer Russ Spiegel hits all the right notes. Covering a wide variety of styles from rock and blues to funk and Latin and hard-swinging modern and post-modern jazz, Russ has been garnering rave reviews for his performances all around the world.

Russ Spiegel is a commissioned composer and arranger as well as a highly respected international guitarist, bandleader, writer, musicologist, and award-winning sound engineer. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Afterwards, Russ spent more than a decade living and performing in Europe before returning to the US. to settled in New York City. Once there, Russ quickly became an established member of the jazz scene. He earned his master’s degree in jazz performance at the City College of New York under the aegis of John Patitucci before going on to receive his doctorate in Jazz Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music as a Henry Mancini Institute Fellow. He has released several CDs, scored music for film, and performs and leads masterclasses, workshops, and seminars around the world. Russ currently teaches at Florida International University and Miami Dade College.


Miami-Dade Individual Artists (MIA) Grant Program - Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, July 2023

Miami-Dade Artists Support! MAS! Grant, July and October 2020 (Two awards)

New Music Solidarity Fund Grant, 2020

Certificate of Appreciation, The Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board County Commissioners for work with Guitars over Guns, 2018

Award of Academic Merit, University of Miami, 2016

Outstanding Studio Engineering, Graduate College, Downbeat Magazine, University of Miami Frost School of Music, 2016

Full scholarship plus annual stipend, Henry Mancini Institute Fellow, DMA study in Jazz Composition, Frost School of Music, University of Miami, 2013-2016

First Year Graduate Research Grant, University of Miami, 2014

Barbash Award, City College of New York 2004-2006

Jazz Stipendium, City of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1999

Professional Music Scholarship, Berklee College of Music, 1986-1988


Album Review

Russ Spiegel: Caribbean Blue

Read "Caribbean Blue" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Pleasant music with ample color and variety--that's an apt description of Caribbean Blue, the latest albulm from California-bred, Florida-based guitarist Russ Spiegel, who has surrounded himself with world-class musicians and given them rein to canvass ten of his generally engaging compositions and bring them admirably to life. While everything on offer is respectable, it is the album's midsection--tracks 3-8--that rise above the others and lend the session much of its vitality and charm. After harmonica virtuoso Hendrik ...

Album Review

Scott Reeves: The Alchemist

Read "The Alchemist" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Trombonist, composer and band leader Scott Reeves once performed a live concert at the City College of New York with his then quintet, which has now been documented as his newest offering entitled The Alchemist. However, new is not the operative word here, as this musical event took place on May 5th, 2005. While concentrating on compositions and recordings for his jazz orchestra over the last ten years, the pandemic provided Reeves with the opportunity to review the music he ...

Album Review

Scott Reeves Quintet: The Alchemist

Read "The Alchemist" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Devastating as it has been, the global Covid-19 pandemic has produced a few upsides as well, one of which is the rediscovery by versatile Scott Reeves of a concert that his quintet performed sixteen years ago, in May 2005, at the City College of New York. With time on his hands as a result of the scarcity of gigs during the pandemic, Reeves visited his archives and found the recording, which he never intended to release owing to audio issues. ...

Album Review

Russ Spiegel: Chimera

Read "Chimera" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Guitarist Russ Spiegel has come a long way from the time when he was influenced by rock and spent a decade playing that music. The self-confessed latecomer to jazz shows firm grasp of the vocabulary as he takes different forms and builds them into a cohesive unit.

Spiegel wrote six of the tunes on this venture, letting “Cherokee sit between his own compositions. He uses a wide and colorful palette, as he draws on bossa nova, hard bop and rock ...

Album Review

Russ Spiegel: Chimera

Read "Chimera" reviewed by Troy Collins

Chimera is guitarist Russ Spiegel's fourth album and first for Steeplechase. His previous releases include a rock record, a live big band recording and a mainstream date for Doublemoon (2001's Twilight). This sextet session finds him in the company of an adventurous and like-minded set of peers. Channeling the spirited energy of hard-bop with the progressive aesthetics of rock music, Spiegel carves out his own niche in the contemporary jazz scene.

Spiegel is joined by a cast of talented, but ...

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Guitarist Russ Spiegel Releases 'Caribbean Blue' with Guests Brian Lynch, Tim Armacost, Hendrik Meurkens and more on RuzzTone Music

Guitarist Russ Spiegel Releases 'Caribbean Blue' with Guests Brian Lynch, Tim Armacost, Hendrik Meurkens and more on RuzzTone Music

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

A world-class guitarist by anyone’s definition, California-born Russ Spiegel is also a composer, arranger, big band leader, mixing engineer, educator and much more, including a world traveler. Though not entirely, much of the music in Caribbean Blue is a tip of the hat to some of his destinations and the cultures he’s experienced, and homage to many of the genres of music he loves, and, perhaps most importantly, a reminder of just how small the world really is. Throughout his ...


Performance / Tour

Saco Yasuma's "Another Rain" (Mon) Russ Spiegel Sextet (Tue) Dan McCarthy Trio Feat. Myron Walden (Wed) Jeff Williams QT & More This Week at Cornelia Street Cafe

Saco Yasuma's "Another Rain" (Mon) Russ Spiegel Sextet (Tue) Dan McCarthy Trio Feat. Myron Walden (Wed) Jeff Williams QT & More This Week at Cornelia Street Cafe

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

CORNELIA STREET CAFE 29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York 212-989-9319 between West 4th and Bleecker Sts, Greenwich Village 1 Subway to Sheridan Square; A, C, E, B, D, V, F to West 4th St. This Week At Cornelia Street Cafe Mon Jul 30 8:30PM CD RELEASE EVENT SACO YASUMA'S “ANOTHER RAIN" (Saco Yasuma, alto saxophone, Xaphoon, compositions;Roy Campbell Jr., trumpet, flugelhorn;Andrew Bemkey, piano, bass clarinet;Ken Filiano, bass;Michael T.A. ...

Providing some of the best solos to found on a jazz album released this year, Russ Spiegel‘s Caribbean Blue is a must-hear multi-cultural musical experience.
-Greg Victor, Parkbench.Live

Guitarist Russ [Spiegel] provides world-class multi-cultural jazz that will thrill your ears (as much as they did mine)
-Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews

"...an impressive outing...inspired post-bop compositions."
-Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

"Channeling the spirited energy of hard-bop with the progressive aesthetics of rock music, Spiegel carves out his own niche in the contemporary jazz scene."
-Troy Collins, All About Jazz

"Intellectual to the core, melodic and elegant, [Spiegel's] music will engage and challenge you at the same time."
-Ed Blanco, EJazzNews

"A killer guitarist that’s simply welcome all over the world, Spiegel lays it down without pretense or drama and lets his clean lines and solid playing provide all the drama and dynamic tension non-smooth jazz should have."
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record

"Spiegel plays with a clear, bright sound and his solos reveal a sure-footed rhythmic instinct and a harmonic sense which may be rooted in bebop but which also leans towards the future."
-Charles Alexander, Jazzwise (London)

Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


Teaching Experience:

2022-Present: Miami Dade College (Kendall Campus): Instructor for Jazz Guitar, Jazz Improvisation, and Pop/Jazz Arranging
2021-Present: Florida International University, Music Business Production Studio. Teaching Live Music Operations graduate courses, graduate research and internship advisor and Jazz/Pop Arranging.
2019-Present: Member, Board of Studies and Artistic Advisor & Curriculum Consultant at Furtados School of Music/NMIMS School of the Performing Arts, Mumbai India
2018-Present: Adjunct Faculty, Barry University. Instructor for Jazz in Literature and Film, Rap, Roots, & Reggae, Music Appreciation, Composition, and Jazz Guitar
2016-2021: Guitar Mentor for Guitars Over Guns - high impact arts-based mentoring program to empower at-risk youth. Working collaboratively with schools and communities and encouraging young people to become independently productive members of society through individual expression, social interaction, and personal accountability.
2013-2016: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Frost School of Music, University of Miami: instruction for undergraduate jazz ensembles, jazz history for both music and non-music majors, jazz arranging, private guitar instruction, guitar ensembles, and music technology
2009-2014: Instructor for Jazz Guitar and Arranging, New York Jazz Academy
2005–2008: Guitar Instructor & Band Coach for the hit Nickelodeon TV series “The Naked Brothers Band”
2007: Online Instructor, Masters Level Jazz Arranging Course, Boston University
2004-2006: Graduate Assistant to undergraduate jazz ensembles, City College; Instructor, National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, Connecticut.

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Chet Baker
trumpet and vocals
Miles Davis
Dexter Gordon
saxophone, tenor
Pat Metheny
Joe Pass
Kenny Wheeler



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Caribbean Blue

RuzzTone Music


The Alchemist

Origin Records


Russ Spiegel Organ...

RuzzTone Music



SteepleChase Records


The Russ Spiegel Jazz...

RuzzTone Music



Double Moon Records


The Alchemist

From: The Alchemist
By Russ Spiegel

New Bamboo

From: The Alchemist
By Russ Spiegel



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