Brian Landrus

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Brian Landrus
Brian Landrus Profile 2012.JPG
Brian Landrus in 2012
Background information
Born (1978-09-14) September 14, 1978 (age 39)
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Genres Jazz, crossover jazz, acid jazz, soul jazz, avant-garde jazz, jazz fusion, R&B
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Saxophone, clarinet, flute
Years active 1994-present
Labels BlueLand, Cadence Jazz, CIMP, Palmetto

Brian Landrus (born September 14, 1978, Nevada) is a New York City based jazz saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and educator.[1]


Brian Landrus is a low woodwind soloist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. Landrus has been included as one of the top twenty-five greatest jazz baritone saxophone soloists of all time by The Huffington Post.[2] The New York Times wrote that Landrus is "A baritone saxophonist of convincing authority", and "'Kismet', is a three-minute improvisation on bass saxophone, a notoriously bulky instrument that Mr. Landrus handles with feathery grace. He sounds unhurried and thoughtful, deeply attuned to the horn and its register. It’s a disarmingly effective coda, like a soufflé that lingers in the mind long after the meal."-Nate Chinen, New York Times.[3] Brian Landrus was born in Reno, NV where he began playing professionally at the age of 15. Landrus earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance at the University of Nevada, Reno.[4] At the age of 18 Landrus began performing on tenor and baritone saxophone with the Motown legends The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Coasters, The Drifters, & Martha Reeves. Landrus moved to Boston in 2003 to attend the New England Conservatory [5] on scholarship where he earned a Master of Music degree in Jazz Saxophone, and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition. While at NEC Landrus was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal.[6] Upon graduation in 2007 Landrus recorded his album entitled "Forward" for Cadence Jazz Records [7] and moved to New York CIty. Brian Landrus has been voted Rising Star Baritone Saxophonist in the Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll in 2010-2016, winning the category in 2015.[8] Mr. Landrus has also been voted Baritone Saxophonist in the established musician category of Downbeat Magazine's International Critics Poll in 2012-2016. Brian toured internationally with the Grammy winning artist Esperanza Spalding,[9] and has performed with: Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Carlberg, Michael Cain, Frank Kimbrough, Ryan Truesdell, Gil Evans Project, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Grant Levin, Lonnie Plaxico, Matthew Parish, Rufus Reid, Louis Nash, Rudy Royston, Rakalam Bob Moses, Billy Hart, Rufus Haereiti, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Donny McCaslin, Steve Wilson, Groundation, Feist (singer), Mike Love, Nicholas Urie, Oscar Penas, Darryl Harper, Ken Schaphorst, Allan Chase, Alan Ferber, Mark Feldman, Nir Felder, Ben Monder, Gerry Genario, Francis Vanek, Peter Epstein, Larry Engstrom, Harry "Butch" Reid, Jeff Lee Johnson, Leo Genovese, and many others. Landrus currently leads two ensembles, The Brian Landrus Quartet, and The Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope. The quartet focuses on traditional jazz and the Kaleidoscope incorporates jazz with elements of R & B, Reggae, Soul, & Electronic music while still having emphasis on Improvisation. Landrus specializes on the baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, bass clarinet, bass flute, & alto flute. Landrus is currently finishing a PhD at Rutgers University in composition.[10]


The New York Times wrote in 2015 "The main feature of “The Deep Below,” an album of austere self-possession by the multireedist Brian Landrus, isn’t a band or even a batch of tunes. Instead, as the album’s title suggests, it’s a sonic register: low and deep, Mr. Landrus’s natural range on baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, bass flute and bass clarinet...a star vehicle"[11] In 2013 Emusic wrote "The Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope, Mirage: Outstanding new album by multi-reedist Landrus, who plays bari sax, bass clarinet, bass flute, contra alto clarinet, and bass saxophone for this session. Orchestrated, but with a deft restraint that imbues the music with a quiet chamber jazz sound at times. Music that inspires with an epic nature. Melodies crafted with the precision and beauty of stained glass. Harmonies that invite the listener to just sink into them. One of those albums that, once listened to, gives the sense of having travelled very far distances from your seat by the stereo. Pick of the Week."-Dave Sumner, Emusic[12] The Huffington Post chose Landrus' recent recording "Mirage", as one of the top jazz recordings of 2013.[13] Music critic Steve Greenlee wrote in the Boston Globe "Brian Landrus - who plays baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, and bass flute on “Capsule’’ (BlueLand Records) - creates a very special kind of music with his band The Landrus Kaleidoscope. It is modern and contemporary - indeed, pop oriented - but it doesn’t give in to the artificial-sweetener trappings of smooth jazz. No, this quintet, which includes pianist Michael Cain (mostly on Fender Rhodes), guitar Nir Felder, bassist Matthew Parish, and drummer Rudy Royston, makes an organic fusion that ignores the boundaries that supposedly separate jazz, rock, pop, and R&B."[14] Hrayr Attarian from All About Jazz says "Landrus pushes the boundaries of jazz and explores a more fusion-like style inspired by Motown and other related genres." [15] Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes has written "Baritone sax and bass clarinet ace Brian Landrus takes a refreshing, modernist approach to the jazz quintet." [16] Landrus has honed his sound by using Fred Lebayle Mouthpieces,[17] Rico Reeds,[18] & Henri Selmer Paris Saxophones.[19]


Brian Landrus in 2015

As leader

  • Forward (Cadence Jazz 2008)
  • Everlasting (CIMP 2009)
  • Traverse (BlueLand, 2010)
  • Capsule (BlueLand, 2011)
  • Mirage (BlueLand, 2013)
  • The Deep Below (Palmetto/BlueLand, 2015)

As sideman (selected)

  • Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble "Monk Dreams, Hallucinations And Nightmares (Red Piano)
  • Ken Schaphorst Large Ensemble How To Say Goodbye (JCA Records)
  • Oded Levi-Ari Threading
  • Gil Evans Project Lines of Color (Blue Note/ArtistShare)
  • Gil Evans Centennial Project (ArtistShare)
  • Nicholas Urie My Garden (Red Piano)
  • NIcholas Urie Large Ensemble (Red Piano)
  • Darryl Harper Stories in Real Time
  • Rob Mosher's Storytime
  • Ayn Inserto Large Ensemble
  • Omar Thomas Big Band I Am
  • John Vanore & Abstract Truth Culture
  • Adam Bartczack Republic Grass Is Greener


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  6. ^–2009/2007[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-26. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
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  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
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  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2013-12-31.