Since his breakout club debut in 2005, Lorenson has quickly established a reputation as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading interpreters of jazz standards. As a singer, he is equally at home whether entertaining a concert hall audience or performing in the more intimate cabaret setting. With comparisons to Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, and Chet Baker, Lorenson has a voice one savors and remembers.
In recognition of his solid and sophisticated musical vocabulary, Talkin’Broadway.com called Russ "an elegant performer who has faultless musical taste and vocal phrasing." The Los Angeles Times said that he brings "a supple voice and strong sense of characterization to all his songs." The San Diego Union-Tribune said that his "relaxed, easy deliveries...seem natural and heartfelt..." The Coronado Journal simply called him "…irresistible…"
A more theatrical singer than most of his peers on the circuit, Lorenson’s polished pipes move effortlessly through various musical styles. He does not shy away from theatricality but always knows when to infuse jazz sensibilities into an old Broadway chestnut, bringing new life to a song audiences think they know so well. Lorenson’s sound and approach place him at the intersection of Broadway, jazz, and pop the very essence of the Great American Songbook.
Lorenson began his professional career in San Diego, where he appeared with Starlight Musical Theatre, Lyric Opera San Diego, Diversionary Theatre, and toured with the National Theatre for Children. For five years, he was Associate Conductor of the award-winning California Youth Chorale. Since moving to San Francisco in 1997, Lorenson has appeared in several productions at 42nd Street Moon, most recently in their hit production of Cole Porter’s Red Hot & Blue! starring Klea Blackhurst. Of his performance, Talkin’Broadway.com’s Richard Connema said, "Outstanding...I think he could almost fly off the stage!" Lorenson will return to the 42nd Street Moon stage later this month in the company’s first foray into light opera, with their production of The Golden Apple. This summer, he will also make his debut with The Willows Theatre Company, appearing in their production of 1776.
As a nightclub and cabaret artist, Lorenson has performed in San Diego at Bourbon Street, The Escape, WD’s, and The Caliph. In the San Francisco Bay Area, he has appeared at Martuni’s, the Café Majestic, Kelly’s of Alameda and The Empire Plush Room. Lorenson will make his New York cabaret debut in April 2006, with two shows at The Hideaway Room @ Helen’s.
A singer and actor since childhood, Lorenson has also donated his time as a performer at benefit performances for various San Francisco Bay Area youth organizations including the Young Actor’s Theatre Camp (La Honda, CA), Adolescent Counseling Services (Palo Alto, CA), Project Outlet (Mountain View, CA) and San Francisco’s School of the Arts.