Trombone giant RUSS LITTLE began touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trombone and featured soloist in 1968, and later, with the Count Basie Orchestra, he filled a similar role. While touring with these famed jazz orchestras, he found time to become an original member of Canada’s “Lighthouse”, a classic rock band with which he continues to perform.
Born in Toronto, Russ Little was raised on the island of Jamaica for the first few years of his life before moving back to Canada to attend Malvern Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto where he attained (in 1966) his honors degree in the Humanities, with special emphasis on History and English. It was during his time at Malvern Collegiate that he was taught trombone by the legendary teacher-trombonist, George M. McRae.
During the early ’70s, Little performed in the world famous “Boss Brass”, while pursuing a successful career as conductor, composer, and arranger for the CBC, CTV, and Global television networks in Canada. He was also constantly busy writing and conducting for NBC, ABC, General Motors, NFL Football, and the famed SCTV comedy series.
For the past ten years, he has been Musical Director for the Home Smith Bar’s landmark ‘Festival Within The Festival’ Series during the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. To date, he has released four “Russ Little Quintet” CDs to worldwide success — “Snapshot”, “Footwork”, “On The Shoulders of Giants”, and the latest, “Slow Burn”.
The all-star RUSS LITTLE QUARTET — RUSS LITTLE (trombone), TOM SZCZESNIAK (piano), SCOTT ALEXANDER (bass), and BRIAN BARLOW (drums) — is in up-close-and-personal residency at the Home Smith Bar “Third Wednesdays” throughout the Fall and Winter.