The Jazz Symbiosis Quintet plays the Jazz Station - Eugene
The music of Steve Swallow, Clare Fischer, Benny Golson, A.C.Jobim, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Garrett, Roland Kirk, Dizzy Gillespie, Mingus & Coltrane.
- Scott FitzGibbon flute, saxophone
- Ken Johnston trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn
- Gus Russell piano
- Robert Lassila bass
- Joe Kelner drums
Scott FitzGibbon, saxophones & flute, is originally from the Chicago area and recently relocated to Eugene from Fresno, CA. A student of Chicago saxophonist/flutist Robert Rangier and renowned concert saxophonist Robert Black, he also studied music at Illinois State Univ. with Jim Boitos and others. He has performed with jazz artists including Chris Jaudes, Jack Waltrip, Brian Hamada, Lisle Ellis, Rick Helzer, Vince DiCiccio, Rich Severson, Gary Newmark, Jim Ganduglia, Mike Dana, Jon Faddis, Tony Klatka and Barney McClure, among others, and performed in Pit Orchestras and Big Bands in the Chicago area. The Jazz Symbiosis project originally formed in Fresno just before the pandemic and included Rick Helzer, Roy Carlson, Gary Newmark and Pete Fashing. It was reincarnated in Eugene last year.
Ken Johnston, trumpeter and cornetist, was born in Portland, Oregon, and started playing in the fourth grade. He earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz trumpet from Arizona State University in 2010, and a master’s in jazz studies from Indiana University in 2016. At these institutions, he benefited from the tutelage of numerous great musicians such as Mike Crotty, Mike Kocour, Sam Pilafian, David Hickman, Patrick Harbison, Brent Wallarab, Steve Houghton, Wayne Wallace, John Fedchock, and Dave Stryker. Since graduating, he has worked as a music educator both privately and in the classroom. Ken is also an enthusiastic researcher of jazz history, and at the 2016 Jazz Education Network Conference, presented his research on trumpeter and cornetist Red Nichols. Ken has lived in Eugene since the fall of 2020.
Gus Russell, piano, is originally from Maui, Hawaii and holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University Of Oregon. For the last 35 years he has been teaching and performing almost every musical style imaginable.Gus has been composing, arranging, and engineering since 1988. He composed music for the documentaries “The Greenest Building” and “Pre Fontaine: Fire on the Track”, worldwide theater trailers for Dolby, the film “The Independent”, and many sports and educational videos.As a session musician he has played on numerous CDs; including recordings for Blue Moon, Don Latarski, Barbara Healy, Leon Smith, Eileen Hemphill-Haley, Beth Singer, The Revelators and Brenda May.
Robert Lassila is a bassist and composer living in Eugene, Oregon. Being an in demand sideman, he finds himself performing many different genres on both electric and acoustic bass. For his personal projects, the main focus is composing and performing original jazz music for both small and large ensembles. He recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz studies, and is now pursuing a Master’s degree in jazz studies also at the University of Oregon.
Joe Kelner, drummer from the Bay Area, moved to Eugene in 2022. Having worked at all the major venues of the Bay Area and swung along greats such as Calvin Keys, Noel Jewkes, Dayna Stephens, Javier Santiago, Grant Levin, Steven Lugerner, Chuchito Valdés, and countless others, Joe brings a well rounded approach to leading a band and showcasing the talents of his band mates. Joe has studied with greats that include; Gregory Hutchinson, Allison Miller, Tootie Heath, Benny Greb, Dave King, Jeff Hamilton, Jeff Marrs, and many others. He was part of the SFJAZZ Monday night big band 2016-2017. He was also the drum coach for the Stanford Jazz Workshop’s Giant Steps program as well as an assistant instructor/accompanist in their summer program.