Russell Gunn

Ethnomusicology, Volume 3

Russell Gunn couldn’t decide whether to pursue a career in jazz or hip-hop. So, he chose both. Since he meshed the two genres in his own unique way, the 31-year-old trumpeter and composer has garnered rave reviews; collaborations with Branford Marsalis, Oliver Lake, James Moody, Roy Hargrove and John Hicks; and two Grammy Award nominations. On his latest release, Gunn weaves elements of Cuban, Brazilian and African influences together with hip-hop into an adventurously progressive style. Standouts include the hip-hop laced “No Separation,” the sassy and swinging “East St. Louis” and the hypnotic “Yesterdays,” each of which is a perfect marriage of style and sound. Gunn pays homage to jazz tradition while also extending the form to new and exciting heights.