Miles Russell is a multi-instrumental musician, musical director, arranger & composer, performer, sound designer and educator.
He has a true love of the performing arts and enjoys a wide variety of interests within the genre.
Miles Studied Music and Performance Arts at Middlesex Polytechnic, with Phillipe Gaulier in Paris, and Desmond Jones in London. He also trained in the Estill vocal method with Anne-Marie Speed.
He runs the Speakeasy Revival Orchestra, Jazz Pirates, Oom-pa-pa Pirates, and Gramophone Music. He lives in Billingshurst in West Sussex.
Hobbies include sailing, diving and collecting 78rpm records.
He also runs Propit, a theatrical prop hire business based near Dunsfold in Surrey.
(This website is undergoing changes)
Miles plays Trumpet, Piano, Keyboards, Accordion, Tenor Horn, Flugel Horn, Trombone, Bass, Percussion, Guitar and many other weird and wonderful instruments!
As a musical director and performer his credits have included "Return to the Forbidden Planet" (West End & national tour), "Dirty Dancing" (West End 7 national tours), Justin's Band (national tour with Justin Fletcher), "Grimm Tales" (Chichester Festival Theatre), "The Song of Singapore" (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), M/Othering (Rifco Theatre Company), Apollo Theatre's Round the Horne (national tour), the Watermill Arts Centre`s "Beauty and the Beast", pantomimes (featuring the Nolans, Amelia Lilly, Mr Tumble, Lloyd Daniels, 'Harold' from Neighbours, and Dick (from the Bungalo!), and Buster Theatre`s production of "Lipstick Tango" for which he achieved a London Fringe award nomination, (the show itself winning the ensemble award). He has also toured with Bristol`s Public Parts Theatre Company, Dr. Foster`s Travelling Theatre, and Strangeface Theatre Company to Iran where the production won the Best in Festival award. He also had a long and successful collaboration with Exeter's Common Players with whom he was company musical director and composer for over ten years. Television credits have included a Paddy Power advert and Wings of War.
He has musically directed and played in many bands which include the award winning Jiving Lindy Hoppers’ band, The Speakeasy Revival Orchestra, and several successful function bands.
His principal instruments have been trumpet and keyboards, and these and his other instruments have led him to play with ensembles including the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Jam'd, Mike Berry's Rumpus Band, The Drifters, the Los Palmas 6, with Miranda Sykes, Steve Knightley, Eileen Hunter, Paul Tilley, The Simon Bates Big Band, The Staine Street Sinfonietta, Bazooka Heist!, Straight No Chaser, and for many other people, groups, shows, and productions.
He has recorded on albums for Paul Tilley, Miranda Sykes, Sam Burkey, Andy Duerden, Inju5tice, Katy Newell, and for West Ham F.C.'s entrance music!
A flexible, accomplished musician in all styles.
Miles has composed for many theatre shows and for commissions that include radio jingles, music for CDs, big band charts, and songs for people's birthdays, as well as music for theatre.
He composed the original music for national tours of Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo and Dear Santa, for Julia Donaldson's Tales from Acorn Wood, for Justin Fletcher, Chichester Festival Theatre, and was the resident Musical Director for The Common Players for several years, writing the music for many of their productions including Chandler's Carousel, The Savage Song, The Podfather, The Lone Rooster, The Golden Fleece, and Taylor's Trailer and the Tractor Factor.
He is a skilled arranger and transcriber. He currently works with Sibelius software and is proficient at transcribing from audio sources or arranging from audio or sheet music to produce simple, accurate and playable parts for all styles and ensembles. He has built up an extensive library of pop and show tunes.
Arranging credits include pantomimes for Imagine Productions and Paul Holman Associates, music for a London Palladium magic show featuring Siegfried and Roy, the Bazooka Heist! big band, Simon Bates Big Band, We WIll Rock You, and multiple shows for Hurtwood House.
For over 20 years Miles was Artistic Director of Hurtwood House Sixth Form College which specialised in Performing Arts. He created, directed and musically directed shows there, as well as teaching singing, providing technical sound support for productions, assistant managing the department, and working on the A-Level Theatre Studies & Music Technology courses.
Miles freelances as a trumpet and singing teacher, and workshop leader, having developed workshops for theatre companies, drama schools, amateur dramatic groups, and with Stagecoach Theatre Schools for both students and staff. He has also led workshops at Exeter, Surrey, Chichester, and Middlesex Universities, along with Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
He currently runs workshops in singing, drama, voice, and in theatrical sound design. Youth theatre projects include Chichester Festival Theatre, Winchester Theatre Royal, and for Horsham District Council.
He has also had articles published in Teaching Drama magazine.
He has an enhanced DBS check.
Miles has sound designed for many theatre productions including work with Kimbo Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Rifco Theatre, Hurtwood House Theatre, the Common Players, and for several pantomimes. He uses industry standard QLab and Logic Pro X on Mac to achieve the perfect soundscape to enhance productions in a sensitive way. This has included work as a soundscape artist, creating sound effects and audio tracks for art and theatre projects including field recording and studio work.
He has written articles on sound design for Teaching Drama magazine.
Miles is avalable with the authentic sounds of the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's all played on original 78rpm records by a classic wind-up gramophone.
Perfect for greeting guests, keeping them entertained as they arrive at a venue, through a drinks reception or setting the mood for dinner.
Add a touch of class and quirkiness to your event!
SONG OF SINGAPORE - MAYFAIR THEATRE, WEST END, 2001
" One of the most fun shows in town, with a terrific jazz band that in Miles Russell boasts one of the best trumpeters I've ever heard."
John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle. July 2001 (Hmm, he needs to get out more!)
BLISS ALBUM REVIEW - Review in the Musician's Union magazine, August 2006 for Miranda Sykes' album, Bliss.
Miranda is "probably at her best during 'When You Think It's Over It's Just Begun', the soulful trumpet of Miles Russell as a superb foil for a mature tale of emotional recognition. Well worth checking out."
DEAR ZOO TOUR 2018/19
"beautifully written songs for the animals - my personal favourite being the grumpy camel song!" WhatsGoodToDo.co.uk
"The show itself was brilliant. It was very simply done with bright colours and catchy songs." Megan Roberts
BLACKHOLE MONSTERS ALBUM
"of course it's ok to use the track- your work on it was outstanding in every way." Tel from the Blackhole Monsters
LP6 MADNESS BAND
"Many thanks again for last night - you were excellent and lets get some more gigs for you in the book - nice one" Steve Turner (the boss of Madness cover band LP6)
DIRTY DANCING TOURS
"An impressive encore by the Kellerman's Band at the end is the cherry on the cake of a deliciously nostalgic night out." Danielle Roper, Manchester Evening News, May 2019
"Kellerman's Band were so good I'd go and see a show just featuring them." Northampton.
"A subtle but highly appropriate use of actor-musicians by Bellone as the background entertainment staff allows Kieran Kypers, Ben Mabberley and Miles Russell to show off their proficiency on many instruments in various different styles." Broadway World
"Chichester Festival Theatre Youth’s open-air promenade performance wove through the ideal woodland setting, with the audience being led by the full cast and the excellent band of musicians to various locations in the park." Barrie Jerram, The Argus, July 2017
"Hi Miles. Many thanks for playing at our service. Many people have said that you 'made' it. It was brilliant." Playing classical trumpet at the wedding of Oli and Amy, St Michael's, Betchworth, July 2010.
"The Band were absolutely superb" Jimmy Page, who came to see the Hurtwood House concert in which Miles directed, MDed, and played keyboards, trumpet, percussion and accordion, Feb 2011
Thank you so much for your work this week, it's been an absolute pleasure. It was brilliant to have such a talented musician and performer with us and also someone that talked some sense." (Bryony Thomas - director)
"The trumpet was awesome" (audience member)
Which part did you enjoy most? "Trumpet and mute" (audience member)
Comments from the director, and audience, from the showing of R&D for "Soundtrack" with Kimbo Theatre Company, July 2015.
PAUL TILLEY ALBUM
"Subtle and expert musicianship" is the Link Magazine verdict on Paul TIlley's album 'A Better Place' which features Miles on trumpet and flugel horn. April 2011.
TRAP 4 TAP SHOW
"Celebrated MD and ace trumpeter Miles Russell" Roddy Phillips - The Press & Journal, Aberdeen - Trap 4 Tap dance show, April 2001.