RUSS GREEN was born in Chicago and grew up on the city's west side. Although throughout his life he had listened to all types of music, his desire to play wasn't realized until his adult years.
After being discharged from the U.S. Army, Russ attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he studied film. It was at this time that his desire to play music began to grow.
Like lots of fans of Jimi Hendrix, Russ wanted to be able to re-create the sounds of the man whom he had admired for many years. But being a film student and having all of his money going to these films, he couldnít afford to buy a guitar. Undaunted by this realization, Russ remembered the purchase of a harmonica from a west side shop a few years earlier. The ability to re-create the sounds of Hendrix was becoming realized, not with a guitar, but with a harmonica!
Before leaving Southern Illinois, he was told that when he got back to Chicago he should check out Sugar Blue. So on his first Friday night back in Chicago Russ went out and found a Chicago Reader to see who was playing where in the city. And there it was, Sugar Blue at Blues Etc., one of Chicagoís premiere blues clubs on the North side.
While standing out in front of Blues Etc., the band started playing a song that Russ could recognize but itís name escaped him at the moment. As he entered the club he heard the harmonica start to play. It sounded as though whomever was playing it was torturing this instrument it and pushing it to itís very limits. But as he made his way in to the club he could see the band on stage playing, but there was no harmonica player and as is imaginable, it was a bit confusing.
Continuing to make his way further in the club, he caught sight of the dance floor. There he could see two women dancing with a man who had his hands cupped around his mouth, playing the harmonica. This was Sugar Blue! Mind blown by what he was hearing and seeing, Russ sat down at a high-top table not from from the bandstand.
Russ then moved to Seattle, a city that captured his heart while he was in the Army. While in Seattle he spent every waking moment concentrating on playing the harmonica.
On a Christmas visit back home to Chicago, friends invited him to go to Rosa's Blues Lounge where Sugar Blue was playing. This provided Russ the opportunity to meet the man whose music had captured his attention. It took a year and half, but he returned to Chicago to continue his journey into the world of Blues.
His return to Chicago was not only an opportunity to learn from Sugar Blue, but brought about the realization of a life long dream for Russ, working in film production. He started in television commercials and moved into television shows and feature films.
Starting as a Production Assistant, he worked his way to Assistant Director and became a member of the Directorís Guild of America. Television shows include E.R. and Prison Break. The feature films include Soul Food, The Break-Up, Hardball, Save the Last Dance, Road to Perdition, Tears of the Sun and many more.
With actors Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Williams, Jude Law, Bruce Willis and many others. Russ even joined fellow harmonica player Bruce Willis on stage with his band while working on Tears of the Sun in Hawaii.
He has also played, recorded and toured with John Primer and Lurrie Bell. He also produced BIGLLOU's first album "They Call Me BigLLou" which won a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist.
Russ has played in a number of Blues festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, the Burnley Mechanics Blues festival in England, the Gloucester Blues Festival, and the San Francisco Blues Festival, and many more. At this point the journey for Russ Green is rolling on!