The Music Department brings nationally and internationally recognized professional musicians to Columbia for week-long residencies every semester. The artists lead workshops, master classes, and rehearsals with student ensembles in preparation for recording sessions and public performances. This year Columbia's Music department welcomes Russell Gunn and Morris Hayes.

About the 2023-24 Artists-in-Residence

Columbia will welcome two esteemed professional musicians to workshop, record, and perform with Music students as part of the 2023-24 Artists-in-Residence program: Russell Gunn and Morris Hayes.


Russell Gunn Residency Concerts

Featuring the Columbia College Jazz Ensemble 
Directed by Scott Hall 

With special guests: 

The Fusion Ensemble
Directed by Bill Boris

The Latin Ensemble: Showcase
Directed by Donald Neale


  • November 30, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • December 1, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • December 2, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • December 3, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.


  • Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago


  • $20 General admission 
  • $10 Staff, faculty, and family of performers 
  • $5 Students with ID 
  • Order tickets


Morris Hayes Residency Concert



  • November 18, 7:00 p.m.

  • The Concert Hall at the Music Center, 1014 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago


  • $20 General admission
  • $10 Staff, faculty, and family of performers
  • $5 Students with ID
  • Order tickets.
  • About Russell Gunn

    Russell Gunn, born October 20, 1971, in Chicago was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois. He is an American-African, Pan-African contemporary composer, producer, and trumpeter. He has produced two GRAMMY-nominated recordings, Ethnomusicology Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 on the Atlantic Records and Justin Time labels.

    His initial musical interest was the American-African gospel music of his paternal grandmother’s church and later hip hop/rap music of the 1980s before being introduced to jazz at age 14.

    In 1989, while still in high school, Gunn was named the best all-around trumpet player in the country in a field that included college and professional trumpet players by Music Fest USA sponsored by Downbeat magazine.

    Even though Gunn had scholarship offers to many major universities including Berklee School of Music, Russell decided to attend the Historically Black University Jackson State University in Mississippi, where he was a music major and marched in the award-winning marching band the Sonic Boom of The South.

    Gunn moved to New York from the St. Louis area in 1993 where he became a member of the Wynton Marsalis big band, now known as Jazz at Lincoln Center, and was in the trumpet section with Marcus Printup and Roger Ingram on the Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz oratorio composed by Wynton Marsalis “Blood on The Fields.”

    Gunn is the founder, composer, and director of the contemporary big band The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, which has three releases to date, “Get It How You Live,” “Pyramids,” and “The Sirius Mystery” on the Ropeadope Label.

    Gunn was commissioned by the Apollo Theater of New York to compose “The Blues and It’s People,” a commemoration of Amiri Baraka’s seminal text “Blues People,” which was performed in February 2023 at the Apollo Theater and in May 2023 at Symphony Hall in Atlanta.

    His first recording as a sideman was in 1993 with the great Alto saxophonist and native of St. Louis, The founder of the World Saxophone Quartet, Oliver Lake. With a “Tribute to Eric Dolphy”. 

    As a trumpet player Russell has performed and toured with a whoʼs who in contemporary music including Oliver Lake, Branford Marsalisʼ Buckshot LeFonque, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Maxwell, DʼAngelo, Jimmy Heath, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Lou Reed, Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Marcus Miller, Benny Golson, Young Jeezy, Les Nubian, and Harry Connick Jr. among others.

  • About Morris Hayes

    Producer, Programmer, Keyboardist, and Musical Director

    Music has always been an important force in the life of Morris Hayes. As a child growing up in the small town of Jefferson, Arkansas, music in the church touched his soul and inspired what would become a life-long passion.

    He majored in Art at the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff but the lure of music would not be denied. So, Morris ended up “faking” his way into a college band. He didn’t know how to play very well but when the band’s other keyboard player quit, his desire and commitment combined with his natural talent helped him get hired even though he was not fully accomplished at the time.

    After college, Morris continued playing in both church and anywhere else he could, moving from Chicago to Memphis to Austin in a short period of time. In Austin, Texas, and another musician created a band called “the Bizness.” Mark Brown, bass player for Prince and the Revolution, saw them perform and invited the band to Minneapolis to record a demo. Ultimately, Morris ended up joining Brown’s band, Mazarati. The band did not stay together, but Morris decided to stick around in Minneapolis and began work engineering with Mark Brown. During this time, he wrote, co-produced, and engineered tracks with Shanice Wilson.

    Morris got his big break in 1991 when Jerome Benton asked him to play keyboards with the Time following the departure of Jimmy Jam Harris. They were big shoes to fill, but they were happy with Morris’s contributions and later that year, he toured Asia with the Time.

    At the end of the tour, Morris formed a band called “G Sharp and the Edge,” which became the house band for Prince’s new nightclub, the “Glam Slam” in Minneapolis. Prince was so impressed that he asked the band to play with Carmen Electra as the opening act for his 1992 “Diamonds and Pearls” tour.

    After the tour, Prince asked Morris to play keyboards alongside Tommy Barbarella in his band “The New Power Generation.” Morris would go onto be in the band for nearly 20 years as well as Prince’s Musical Director. (There were some Prince tours that Morris did not play on as he was also touring with Maceo Parker.)

    When not on stage performing with Prince, Morris produced tracks for television and motion pictures including Martin Lawrence’s You So Crazy, HBO’s Laurel Avenue as well as some commercial music for both Target and 3M.

    In addition to Prince, The Time, and Maceo Parker, Morris has performed live with some of the greatest musicians of our time including: George Clinton, Larry Graham, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, Kanye West, Elton John, Babyface, Teddy Riley, Carlos Santana, Kenny Loggins, George Benson, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys,, Mary J. Blige, Q-Tip, Mazarati, Janelle Monáe, Tamar Davis, Maroon 5, Shelia E., Eve, Ani Di Franco, Doug E. Fresh, Stevie Wonder, Questlove,Kool Moe Dee, Sheryl Crow, Nikka Costa, Gwen Stefani, Eve, Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Common, Shanice Wilson, Mike Philips,Erika Badu, Amy Winehouse, Bono and the Edge, Frank McCombs, Vernon Reid, Macy Grey, Angelo Moore, Debra Cox, Bill Banfield, Mica Paris&Mint Condition, and many others.

    In addition to one of his most memorable performances when he played at the historic Super Bowl half-time show with Prince and the New Power Generation in 2007, Morris was the musical director for the official Prince tribute concert in Minnesota in October 2016, following the passing of his friend and musical mentor. Following that event, a number of his former bandmates in the original configuration of the New Power Generation reunited to work together again. They have since performed all over the world—including headlining performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, British Summer Time, Bluesfest in Australia, and North Sea Jazz Festival.

    The only release of original music by Prince since he passed away was Welcome 2 America (2021), co-produced by Morris and Prince.

    Learn more about Morris Hayes:

    NPG Rehearsals for Official Prince Tribute with Musical Director, Morris Hayes (short film)

    Morris Hayes on "The Project" (short film)

    Morris Hayes on "60 Minutes" (clip)

     ‘Could You Make It Rain Harder (Billboard)

    Prince’s New Power Generation Reunites For 2017 Tour, Singer’s Handwritten Note Praising NPG Released: Exclusive (Billboard)

    Mr. Hayes on Prince and Bringing the Funk (That’s)

  • Meet Select Previous Artists-in-Residence

    Cory Henry with a student

    • Three-time Grammy winner Cory Henry (above) performed and recorded with several ensembles during his second residency in 2018. Read more about his residency.

    • Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris performed with students for a live audience at Chicago’s famed Jazz Showcase. Learn about his residency in this video.

    • Singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins joined Columbia students to perform a set of classic pop and soul tunes. Learn about his residency in this video.

    • Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joan Osborne workshopped and performed with students, sharing tips and feedback on the powerful work of songwriting.

    • Lisa Fischer was featured in the Grammy-winning 2013 documenary Twenty Feet From Stardom which told the story of the unsung heros of the music industry: backup singers. Fischer shared wisdom from her years building a reputation as a music legend in her own right.

    • Composer-musician Paula Cole shared insight with students about how to build a lasting relationship with fans by being authentic to yourself. She is the first woman in history to solely produce and receive the Best Producer Grammy nomination for her work.