Born in 1978 and raised in Nevada, Landrus began playing saxophone at 12 and was performing professionally by 15. He earned his bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance at the University of Nevada-Reno and two master’s degrees at New England Conservatory, one in jazz composition and the other in jazz saxophone. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in classical composition at Rutgers.
Based in Brooklyn, Landrus founded his own label, BlueLand Records, in 2010. His first releases of all original music via BlueLand were Traverse (a quartet date with Plaxico, Hart and pianist Michael Cain) andCapsule (by the Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope, with Cain, guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Matthew Paris, drummer Rudy Royston). In 2013, Landrus released a second Kaleidoscope album, Mirage, featuring himself on baritone sax, bass sax, bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet and bass flute alongside Felder, Royston, Plaxico on acoustic and electric bass, Frank Carlberg on Rhodes/piano and a string quartet led by violinist Mark Feldman, with Ryan Truesdell conducting/co-producing.
The New York Times praised Landrus and Mirage at length, pointing out that “the tenderness in his playing feels as warm and accessible as his writing.” Landrus’ current release, The Deep Below, features Landrus on baritone and bass saxophones, bass clarinet, and bass flute, with Lonnie Plaxico on bass, and Billy Hart on drums. Landrus was voted #1 Rising Star Baritonist in Downbeat Magazine’s 2015 Critics Poll and The Deep Below has been called “A star vehicle” by The New York Times.
Along with touring the world in superstar Esperanza Spalding’s band (on baritone/bass/tenor saxophones and bass clarinet) and playing in Truesdell’s prize-winning Gil Evans Project, Landrus has played with some of the world’s great musicians: Bob Brookmeyer, Jerry Bergonzi, Rufus Reid, Danilo Perez, Frank Kimbrough, Michael Cain, Gary Smulyan, Ronnie Cuber, Maria Schneider, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, The Coasters, The Drifters, Feist, George Garzone, Jason Palmer, Rakalam Bob Moses, Louis Nash, Matt Wilson, Anat Cohen, Peter Epstein, Brian Lynch, Tim Hagans, Nicholas Urie, Darryl Harper, David Ake, Allan Chase, Francis Vanek, John Lockwood.