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Work Samples

Altered State Live

Russell Kirk & The Path perform Russell's original composition "The Altered State". Russell gives a brief account of how the tune took shape. featuring: Todd Marcus Bass Clarinet Kevin Clark Guitar Blake Meister Bass Byung Kang Drums

Multi-instrumentalist Russell Kirk loops 5 over 4

This song is an exercise in poly rhythm. While the bass drum maintains a common 4/4 time signature the layers of instruments simultaneously play in 5/4.


About Russell

Baltimore City

Saxophonist/Composer Russell Kirk is a distinguished musician, an innovative force in the industry who offers a fresh approach that is both evocative and richly balanced. His expressive musical style punctuates his nuanced compositions, and nowhere is it more evident than in his latest release “To Journal Square”. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Russell received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Institute. Following graduation he travelled with the USO, performing... more

To Journal Square

Saxophonist Russell Kirk delivers an ambitious second album with the release of To Journal Square, and in it he demonstrates the type of musical versatility that master musician Greg Osby looks for when adding artists to his label Inner Circle Music, of which he is now a part.

Russell’s stylish compositions are complex but never over the top. Reminiscent of classic 80’s fusion, his layered Path Suite composition for example, perfectly captures the mood and texture that bespeaks big city life, in four movements, and pays tribute to one of New Jersey’s busiest hubs.

Russell teams with several uniquely gifted artists including the incomparable singer/songwriter Sonya Kitchell who adds her honey soaked voice to Waiting Patiently and local, Baltimore hipster/poet, impresario Eze Jackson, who melds with distinction on the funk inspired Circling and on Who’s in Control.

The pedigree ensemble that joins Kirk on this musical journey, adds lyrical balance to each track and Kirk unselfishly allows them to shine. Among them are Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer/composer Terri Lyne Carrington, fusion guitarist Wayne Krantz, concert & film composer Jacob Yoffee on tenor Saxophone, the extraordinary Dontae Winslow on trumpet/vocals and Cuban export, award-winning keyboardist Aruán Ortiz.

This native son of Baltimore, Maryland – educated at Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Institute, has been developing his lush sound for years, playing with everyone from The Cab Calloway Orchestra to Parliament Funkadelic. His is a fluid sound, strong and sensual is best articulated on The Path Suite No. 2. But throughout this surprisingly bold new album, Kirk shows himself to be a master technician who is always in control - quiet when he has to be and assertive when he needs to be.

Russell Kirk & The Path LIVE

Russell Kirk & The Path is a collaboration of like minded musicians, with similar paths, that offer a distinctly modern style while retaining the romantic sentiments of the American songbook. presentations range in size however the performance, as in the original compositions, are consistently sincere and provocative – a perfect confluence of old and new. The path has been performing since 2010 and has been featured at several major jazz festivals/venues.

  • Russell Kirk & The Path @ Cornelia St. Cafe Greenwich Village NYC

    Cornelia St. Cafe was voted: Top Five Jazz Venues in NYC, jazz venue of the year. -All About Jazz NY 20 great jazz clubs of the world -Downbeat Mag.
  • Altered State Live

    Russell Kirk & The Path perform Russell's original composition "The Altered State". Russell gives a brief account of how the tune took shape. featuring: Todd Marcus Bass Clarinet Kevin Clark Guitar Blake Meister Bass Byung Kang Drums

Black and White

Russell Kirk's first album as leader, recorded at NPR studios.

Russell Kirk - Alto Saxophone
Felicia Carter - Vocals (tracks 1 and 2)
Todd Marcus - Bass Clarinet
Harry Appelman - Piano
Kris Funn - Bass
Howard Curtis - Drums (tracks 1-6)
Kush Abady - (tracks 7 and 8)

Buffet Crampon USA Perfroming and Teaching Artist

  • Intervals intro

    This is the introduction to my interval lesson. I recorded over 50 lessons in Paris for the woodwind manufacture Buffet Crampon. The videos are grouped into 3 cycles ranging from Beginner to Intermediate, and beyond. The footage can be downloaded via smartphone or device using the urban play app found on the buffet website.
  • Buffet is a symbol of History, Art, and a Standard of excellence!

    This video was posted on my buffet artist profile and is in response to the question "What does Buffet Crampon represent to you?"

BSO Orchkids Teaching Artist

The girl with the candy corn-colored hair beads speaks in a halting whisper around adults and is hardly the best musician in the ensemble, but she is the first to grab Russell Kirk’s attention when he walks in the room.

And so Morgan Brown gets what many of the children urgently want at this weekly session of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, held at Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods – one-on-one time with “Mr. Russell.”

He and Morgan leave behind the 20 or so students rehearsing “Chariot Race” and find an unoccupied classroom. Kirk may be one of the city’s hottest up-and-coming jazz saxophonists, but at this moment his sole task is to get 7-year-old Morgan to hit the C-sharp on her oboe and, if she misses it, to keep going.

Russell's Curated Collection

View Russell's favorite works from other Baker Artists