Jazz faculty member releases first solo CD

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Popular local jazz pianist Russell Schmidt has released his first solo album, titled “Season of Change.” Recorded in 2006, the CD is a compilation of American songbook standards and classic jazz tunes that will appeal to the general jazz audience.

Schmidt is an associate professor and director of jazz activities at the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts, which he joined in 1995. Currently also artistic director for the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, he holds two degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of legendary jazz educator Rayburn Wright.

As a jazz performer, Schmidt has worked with artists such as Eddie Daniels, John Hollenbeck, Joe Lovano, Gerry Mulligan, Arturo Sandoval and Clark Terry.

In 1998, he was one of two American jazz pianists selected to participate in the Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition.

In addition, he has served as a keyboard soloist with more than 30 professional orchestras, including performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and the San Francisco Symphony.

As a composer and arranger, Schmidt has written for artists as wide-ranging as jazz saxophonists Bob Berg and Michael Brecker, the Ying String Quartet and the chamber music group Rhythm & Brass.

Schmidt collaborated with bassist Dave Morgan, drummer Jim Rupp and College of Musical Arts recording engineer Mark Bunce on the new CD, which was recorded in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center on the Bowling Green campus.

Rupp is more widely known as a big band drummer, but Schmidt said the recording shows him as “a colorful, delicate player, who’s ever-sensitive to the needs of the music.”

Morgan is recognized for his work in the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Schmidt said his creative planning offers another dimension to the music and that “he can make sure you get to fresh places every night.”

Bunce, director of recording services at Bowling Green’s College of Musical Arts, recorded and mastered the release.
The CD is available through Amp Recording. The label has a distribution arrangement allowing the CD to be available through iTunes and popular online sites.

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Media Contact: For further information, contact Russell Schmidt at 419-372-2953.

(Posted April 23, 2008 )