For the left brain...

Russell T. Flynn, born 1985, is a musician living in Brooklyn, NY

2010, M.M. Jazz Composition and Arranging, Aaron Copland School of Music

2008, B.M. Jazz Performance, University of Vermont

New York native Russ Flynn is a Brooklyn-based producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Russ actively performs, both nationally and internationally, with a number of artists including X Ambassadors, Great Good Fine Ok, Rubblebucket, Glass Elephant, Lewis Lane and Natalie York. He has also had the pleasure of working with performers as varied as Elliott Sharp, Nathan Parker Smith, Sean Lennon, Andrew D’Angelo, Bartosz Hadala, Anthony Coleman and Hafiz Shabazz.

In 2010 Russ completed his graduate work at the Aaron Copland School Music where he studied composition with Michael Philip Mossman and Darcy James Argue. Russ has also studied with Alexander Stewart, Ben Allison, John Rivers, Joe Capps and John McKenna, among others.


For the right brain...

On New York: While surely I would find some other way to pass my time if it wasn't consumed with music making let's, for the sake of drama, say 'I can't imagine what else I would do'. I come from a long line of folks who enjoy problem solving. Though most have used their talents to build, and rebuild, the physical infrastructure of New York City I've chosen, the questionably more self serving (be it far less economically gratifying), life-path of enriching the area sonically [as if it needed any help]. Over-saturated with indie-bands and pretentious bearded men New York might be, but alas my love affair with it runs far too deep for me to consider relocating. As much as I do love James Murphy's "New York I Love You" I can't say that I can even begin to relate to the notion this great city might be the source of anything short of the most positive of energies in my life.

On maintaining a meaningful work-life: I've had the good fortune to work with (and learn from) some incredible and inspiring musicians thus far and the list continues to expand. It's surrounding myself with people who's work I admire and respect that I believe drives me to do the best I can do. Studio work excites me. Live performance excites me. The fulfillment of helping an artist shape their material to make the best product they can excites me too. With that said, I think what gets me off the most about what I do is that I don't just do one thing, or work with just one artist. What I did on Tuesday informs what I do on Friday. The recording technique I learned about in a pop context may actually end up lending itself exceptionally well to the tracking of a string quartet. I love stuff like that. On the flip-side; monotony scares me, complacency scares me and retrogression [in all facets of art, politics and culture] frights the bejesus out of me. 

On education: Although my formal education may be complete [and for the sake of not incurring further student-loan debt I certainly hope it is] I feel as if we should take every opportunity to learn throughout our lives.  Perceived freedom from the responsibility to actively educate ourselves upon the completion of an undergraduate, graduate or even doctoral degree is to surrender to ignorance and do a disservice to humanity. A single day in a recording studio, 5 minutes on stage or an hour spent raking leaves can have the power to teach us as individuals more than any 4-year degree could possibly offer. Not to sound preachy, but I think the moment I embraced this concept I became a much happier individual with a more positive outlook on life. I believe being present, truly being present, goes a hell of a long way. It's especially challenging in this day and age but I believe it's critical. 

Photo:  Lauren Kallen