Services.

I work composing, performing and teaching music. This includes recording, programming, transcription, arranging, teaching guitar and workshops, and playing with ensembles at clubs or for events. 


Studio.

I provide composition and sound design solutions as well as producer support for songwriters, film, web, and all other media. I also work as a session guitarist and percussionist on other artist’s recordings.


Lessons.

I teach at and manage the music lesson program at Folkway Music in Guelph, Ontario. My interests as a guitarist lie increasingly at the intersection of folk, jazz and classical.


Live.

I play solo guitar for concerts, weddings and special events. My repertoire includes music from the pop, jazz, folk and classical idioms. In addition to solo guitar music, I play with numerous bands.

 

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Nicholas Russell

Biography: 

Nick is the type of person who likes to have his hands in many different cookie jars; notably, that of the guitarist, composer, music producer and stringed instrument maker.

Nick grew up in an off-the-grid log cabin nestled deep in the woods of Haliburton County. He first picked up his guitar at the age of eleven, influenced by his father and grandfather – both whom pay (and paid) the bills by playing music. A colourful upbringing inspired a passion for art, philosophy and performance which led him to study at the University of Guelph, concentrating on jazz guitar with Dr. Howard Spring and Dr. Andrew Scott. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Music.

Through those university days and the years spent travelling that followed, Nick always felt the pull of a pure and unadorned guitar. Jazz greats like Joe Pass, John Mclaughlin, Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau and Paco de Lucia influenced his philosophy of music as much as classical masters like Segovia and Julian Bream. In 2007 Nick followed the passion for melody and ‘pure music’ to private study with Toronto composer Robert Mundinger. Through ear training exercises and harmonic analysis, Nick developed his understanding of classical composition and harmony – a cerebral education to support his visceral passion.

In summer 2014, Nick studied comprehensively for five weeks with Master Luthier Sergei De Jonge in his shop near Chelsea, QC. During this period Nick built a concert classical guitar under Sergei’s tutelage from rough wood all the way to final french polish finish. Studying with Sergei was an effort to direct attention to the fine art of acoustic instrument making as a complimentary skill set to Nick’s playing – and also to augment his expertise in an entirely new way. Nick now makes fine hand-made acoustic instruments from his home shop and also works on friend’s and family’s.

Nick strives to foster a complete understanding of music on the guitar, incorporating elements of history, sociology, philosophy and physics into his music lessons, as well as guitar construction and maintenance. His knowledge spans genres, but his current exploration and solo repertoire lie at the intersection of folk, jazz and classical music.

In recent years Nick has expanded his freelancing to include work as a composer (Dusk Dances Dance Festival, Arts Bournemouth University) and as a studio musician (Metalworks Studios, Escarpment Sound, Deschamps Studio). Live and in studio, Nick is a versatile player be it with genre-bending ensembles or sitting comfortably in an intimate acoustic environment. He is an educator and performing artist, playing big band, standards, fusion, acoustic, free jazz, folk and solo guitar arrangements for weddings and events – anything that keeps music up close.

Nick has settled in Guelph, Ontario, teaching and managing the lesson program at Folkway Music. You can find him in a happy home with his lovely wife Stephanie, a small cat, and a very large dog.

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