Community Music Inc. founder Edwin “Eddie” Russell is one of the premier jazz trumpeters in the Caribbean. Having performed on stage with some of the top names in the industry, he has been a mainstay in the Caribbean and Latin jazz scene for many years.
A native Crucian, Eddie hails from a musical family whose members include his brother, guitarist Ronald Russell, and his daughter, flautist Diane Russell.
Eddie began playing trumpet professionally at age 15, forming his first group, Eddie & the Playboys, in 1964. This group became quite popular within the Virgin Islands club scene before Eddie moved on to study and play professionally in Puerto Rico in the late 60’s. Being well immersed within the rich environment of Puerto Rico’s Latin jazz and salsa served to expand Eddie’s repertoire in the Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz idiom. Working with Latin artists such as Ray Santos gave Eddie the opportunity to perfect his exquisite tone and chance-taking style, placing him high on the list of in-demand trumpeters in the Caribbean.
Eddie went on to earn an undergraduate degree in music from City College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Queens College.
Eddie has studied with jazz luminaries that include Ron Carter, Sir Roland Hanna, Jim Heath and Jimmy Owens. Eddie has also shared venues with musical legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Garrison, James Moody, the Mighty Sparrow and Sam & Dave.
Eddie is a prolific composer and music educator who has lent his jazz stylings to other genres, as well. He toured extensively with Reggae’s Blues Busters, Hopeton Lewis and Vic Taylor; R&B’s Sam and Dave; and Calypso’s Kitchener, Arrow, The Mighty Sparrow, Duke and more.
In 2011, Eddie was honored by the 29th Legislature of the Virgin Islands [Resolution No. 1769, Bill No. 29-0230] for his “outstanding contributions to the community through his achievements in the field of music.”
Eddie performs frequently on St. Croix as “Eddie Russell Music,” highlighting his affinity to meld the music of the native islands and straight-ahead jazz that’s so much a part of his soul.