Multi-instrumentalist and composer Brian Landrus has established himself as one of the leading voices on low woodwinds in the world. The New York Times recently wrote “Mr. Landrus, a baritone saxophonist, takes the jazz big band tradition into the mesosphere.” JazzTimes has written “Landrus displays formidable chops as both a composer and a virtuoso on baritone saxophone and three bass instruments: sax, clarinet and flute.” WBGO, the largest jazz radio station in the world, has featured Landrus and said “The baritone saxophonist and composer Brian Landrus knows his way around a billowing canvas, and with Generations he finds an appropriate outlet for his ambitions. The album features a 25-piece ensemble full of expert colorists.” Downbeat magazine wrote “Generations is, no doubt, just the beginning for a player-composer who is well-versed and right at home painting on a big canvas.” The Huffington Post has included Landrus as creating one of the top 25 greatest baritone saxophone solos of all time.
Based in Brooklyn, Landrus founded his own label, BlueLand Records, in 2011. His first releases of all original music via BlueLand were Traverse (a quartet date with Lonnie Plaxico, Billy Hart and pianist Michael Cain) and Capsule (by the Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope, with Cain, guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Matthew Paris, drummer Rudy Royston). In 2013, Landrus released a second Kaleidoscope album, Mirage, featuring himself on baritone sax, bass sax, bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet and bass flute alongside Felder, Royston, Plaxico on acoustic and electric bass, Frank Carlberg on Rhodes/piano and a string quartet led by violinist Mark Feldman, with Ryan Truesdell conducting/co-producing. Landrus’ fourth album for BlueLand Records titled The Deep Below, was released in conjunction with Palmetto Records and features drum legend Billy Hart, and veteran bassist Lonnie Plaxico. Landrus’ most recent album is Generations, a 25 piece orchestra comprised of the some of the most creative and well-known musicians in the world. Generations was released on July 28, 2017 and has already received international acclaim.
Along with touring the world in superstar Esperanza Spalding’s band (on baritone/tenor saxophones and bass clarinet) and playing in Truesdell’s prize-winning Gil Evans Project, Landrus has played with some of the world’s greatest musicians: Bob Brookmeyer, Jerry Bergonzi, Rufus Reid, Danilo Perez, Frank Kimbrough, Gary Smulyan, Ronnie Cuber, Maria Schneider, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, The Coasters, The Drifters, George Garzone, Jason Palmer, Rakalam Bob Moses, Louis Nash, Peter Epstein, Nicholas Urie, Darryl Harper, David Ake, Allan Chase, Francis Vanek, John Lockwood, Ayn Inserto, Alan Ferber, and Ralph Alessi, among many others. Landrus was voted #1 Rising Star Baritone Saxophonist in Downbeat Magazine’s 2015 Critics Poll. Landrus has also been included in the Rising Star Miscellaneous Instrument on Bass Clarinet for the past three years.
Born in 1978 and raised in Nevada, Landrus began playing saxophone at 12 and was performing professionally by 15. He earned his bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance at the University of Nevada-Reno and two master’s degrees at New England Conservatory, one in jazz composition and the other in jazz saxophone. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in classical composition at Rutgers University, where he is also faculty. Landrus teaches instrumentation & orchestration, composition, and jazz ensembles at Rutgers University. Landrus also teaches at The 92Y School of Music in New York City, and The Lagond Music School in Westchester, New York.