Brian Landrus

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Brian Landrus, “a baritone saxophonist of convincing authority” (New York Times), is one of the world’s leading voices on low woodwinds. In addition to leading his own groups, Landrus has performed with Bob Brookmeyer, Lewis Nash, Fred Hersch, esperanza spalding, Billy Hart, Maria Schneider, Prince, the Temptations, Feist, the Four Tops, George Garzone, James Francies and Rufus Reid, among many others. A prodigious player with a commanding voice on baritone sax, bass clarinet, and bass flute, and a prolific composer, Landrus has made potent statements on 11 albums as a leader, including Forward (2009), Mirage (2013), The Deep Below (2015), Generations (2017), For Now (2020), and Red List (2022), described in a four-and-a-half-star review in DownBeat as “another strong release from a major force on the modern jazz scene.” In two other notable reviews of Red ListNew York City Jazz Record said, “The sweep of this music, its complex harmonic colors, its authentic drama, make you think of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider,” and JazzTimes said, “For those who love low woodwinds, Brian Landrus has become a steadfast champion.” Born in 1978 and raised in Nevada, Landrus earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Nevada, Reno; two Master of Music degrees from New England Conservatory; and a Ph.D. in classical composition from Rutgers University. Landrus consistently places in the annual critics and readers polls of DownBeat and JazzTimes.

Career Highlights
  • Recorded 11 albums as a leader and over 100 albums as a sideman 
  • Featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, Jazzwise, the New York City Jazz Record, New Yorker, NPR, All About Jazz, and many other publications
  • Composed for solo instrument up to symphony orchestra
  • Toured internationally with multiple artists and has performed on Broadway with 13 different woodwind instruments
  • Founded BlueLand Records in 2010
  • DownBeat, Rising Star, Baritone Saxophone (2015)
  • DownBeat, Rising Star, Bass Clarinet (2021)
  • Gunther Schuller Medal, New England Conservatory 
  • Scholarship recipient, New England Conservatory, Rutgers University, and University of Nevada, Reno
  • Certificate of Senatorial Recognition for Career Success (2015)
In Their Own Words

I strive to pass on inspiration and love every day. There are endless possibilities, and I love to help artists hone their unique voices through sonic exploration and discovery.

I have been extremely fortunate to travel the world and learn from so many amazing artists. I have been able to work with artists who I grew up listening to, and I love passing on the endless inspiration I've gained from this journey. I am both a performer and composer, which has helped shape my artistic perspective.