Together with Katie Grazier and Wendell Purrington, Russ co-founded Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC) in response to a call from the city of Portsmouth’s 2002 Cultural Plan. Russ’ passion for music began at a young age when he learned “Dust In The Wind” on guitar. He then transitioned to saxophone and music composition and studied at The Tanglewood Institute, Boston Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Chicago. Russ has taught at many prestigious music schools including the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Merit School of Music, the University of Chicago, and Roosevelt University. He began his career as an administrator working for Dantalian Publishing and later served as the manager of the Contemporary Chamber Players of Chicago. When not playing music or teaching, Russ can often be found working on his putting game on a disc golf course with Katie, their two sons, Max and Jake, and their dog Maizie.