Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Bass
Thoughtful, passionate, and bold, Russell Gottlieb brings
a wistful and propulsive sound to the banjo and guitar by drawing on influences ranging from rock to jazz and bluegrass to minimalism, without adhering too closely to stereotypes. As a performer, composer, arranger, and teacher, he has an attraction to and a fascination for the darker and less explored territories of music.
In 2014, Gottlieb graduated Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, where he studied jazz guitar with Vic Juris and a faculty of jazz masters. By that time, Russell was already a keen performer, having played hundreds of shows, spanning the entire East Coast and points West. In 2012, Russell co-founded The Brummy Brothers, an original string band which toured America until the end of 2016, playing everything from local bars and open mic nights, to major music festivals and venues sharing bills with nationally and internationally known acts.
Currently Russell plays banjo in Deadgrass, a string band honoring the legacy of Jerry Garcia through creative and improv-laden performances of music from throughout Garcia’s life and career. Deadgrass plays in New York state, Vermont, and New Jersey and is actively expanding its reach to include more of New England, Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic. Other groups Russell has accompanied and plays with include, FolkenPhünk, Keepin’ the Family, Diesel Wagon, Adam Melchor, The Promised Land (live only), The New Jersey Youth Chorus, and more.
With more than 10 years experience, Russell teaches music to students of all ages and skill levels. Private lessons are tailored to the student’s needs and interests and emphasize the abilities to create and learn on your own and to play with others. Lessons are offered on guitar, banjo, ukulele, and in general music theory. Russell studies with banjo legend Ryan Cavanaugh and continues to bring his own style to the instrument, performing and creating regularly.