Life's Blood Ensemble Lords of Outland Deciduous Otherworld Ensemble Bloom Project
Manala Road to Aacheron The Otherworld Cycle

Short Version
Rent Romus is a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, music producer, and community leader hailed by Downbeat as having "...a bold sound, unmistakable sincerity and conviction". A third generation Finnish American born in the great north of upper Michigan and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Romus' work on the saxophone beginning in 1988 has been dubbed “ferocious” by the San Francisco Weekly and “central to the creative music world of the West Coast” by writer jazz critic Frank Rubolino. From his very beginnings as a student of jazz while being exposed to the twilight tutelage of Stan Getz he found himself drawn to the outer realms of Sun Ra and Albert Ayler, as well as Arthur Blythe, Derek Bailey and the far reaches of Merzbow. He currently leads the Lords of Outland a free improvisation unit since 1994, the Life’s Blood Ensemble a compositional contemporary ensemble, and leads the Finnish/American group Otherworld Ensemble. He has recorded over 40 albums exploring improvisation and composition in a wide variety of musical settings both as a leader and sideman which have included Chico Freeman, John Tchicai, Vinny Golia, Teppo Hauta-aho, Heikki Koskinen, Thollem McDonas, Stefan Pasborg, James Zitro, Marcos Fernandez, and Ernesto Diaz-Infante to name a few. He is the founder of Edgetone Records with over 30 years of independent music production, and performance experience as well as the founder and Executive Director of Outsound Presents under which curates the bi-weekly music series known as SIMM at the Musicians Union Hall, the weekly Luggage Store Gallery Creative Music Series, as well as annual Outsound New Music Summit, the Bay Area's creative music festival held every summer in San Francisco.

Extended Version
Rent Romus is a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, music and performing arts producer, and community leader who currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A third generation Finnish American born in the great north of upper Michigan and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Romus began playing piano at the age of five until he was thirteen when he decided to play the alto saxophone, which his mother also played. In 1982 and 1984, Romus attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop summer programs where he participated in master classes lead by Stan Getz, Bruce Forman, Eddie Moore, and Dizzy Gillespie. Romus’s exposure to Stan Getz was a pivotal moment in his early development where Getz would ask him to find a mirror and work on his tone watching his embrasure as he played. His pivotal experience with the tenor saxophonist was when Getz picked up his horn and joined him in a rendition of the song "I’ll Remember April" during a master class. When Romus was sixteen years of age, his first experience in curation was hoisted upon him after his high school teacher Dick Goodrich quit his job leaving him in charge of a 17-piece big band called the North Area Youth Jazz Ensemble (NAYJE). From 1987 - 1991 he attended the University of California at Santa Cruz. While at college he led the band Jazz on the Line which he had founded in 1984 that served as a vehicle for the member’s compositions and performances.

Between 1989 and 1994 Romus produced three albums with Jazz on the Line including ‘’In the Moment’’ with tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman. Other performing members during the group’s history included saxophonists Michael Sidney Timpson and Dan Magay, pianist Stephano DeZerega, trumpeter Jason Olaine, vocalist Anna Gurski, and drummer Ben Leinbach. Other guest artists included drummer Steve Rossi, bassists Ravi Abcarian, Corin Stiggall, and Ernie Provenchure. After graduating from the University of California in Santa Cruz in 1992, Romus worked odd jobs before moving to San Francisco in 1993 where he formed a trio with drummer James Zitro and former Sun Ra Arkestra cellist Kash Killion, originally called the RKZtet and later dubbed the Lords of Outland. In 1995 Romus changed personnel of the group to include his longtime associate Jason Olaine along with drummer Andrew Borger and bassist Vytas Nagisetty (aka Brock Lee). In the summer of 1995 and 1996 Romus toured in Denmark with pianist Jonas Müller, drummer Tomas Barfod, drummer Stefan Pasborg which later lead to his 1999 recording with Pasborg and bassist Jonas Westergaard as the Life's Blood Trio. In 1997 Romus performed and recorded with Jon Birdsong, Dave Mihaly, and guest tenor saxophonist John Tchicai known best for his work with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler in the 1960’s. In 1998 Romus worked with instrument inventor Tom Nunn, cellist Doug Carroll, guitarist Joel Harrison and drummer Dave Mihaly. This formation focused on a set of compositions inspired by the writings of author Philip K. Dick.

In 2001 Romus reinvented the Lords of Outland with bassist Bill Noertker, drummer Dave Mihaly and the late trombonist Toyoji Tomita, and later that year recorded Avatar In the Field a tribute to the late saxophonist Albert Ayler. In 2002 Romus began working with poet/musician/artist CJ Borosque whom he later married. Together they produced The Metal Quan Yin (destinations suite) with an expanded group that included vocalist Jesse Quattro, and Andre Custodio based on her self-published book of the same name. That same year also marked a shift in Romus’ musical exploration branching out into complete free improvisation when he alongside guitarist Ernesto Diaz-Infante created The Abstractions a collective ensemble that ranged in size from two to ten players. The group toured the west coast of the United States in 2002 and 2004 and released three recordings and included Jesse Quattro, Scott R Looney, Bob Marsh, Philip Everett, Sandor Finta, CJ Borosque, Ray Schaeffer, Lance Grabmiller, Alwyn Quebido, and Dina Emerson. In 2006 Romus toured through the midwest of the United States performing in St. Lois Missouri, Urbana Illinois, Detroit Michigan, and Columbus Ohio with stops along the east coast to Philadelphia and New York City with composer and pianist Thollem Mcdonas and drummer Jon Brumit as the Bloom Project. They went on to release two more albums in 2007 and Sudden Aurora in 2009. In contrast to the Lords of Outland, Bloom Project featured a sparser melodic repertoire. During that same year Romus shifted the roster of the current Lords of Outland with drummer Philip Everett, bassist Ray Schaeffer, and CJ Borosque on no-input effects pedals mixing harsh noise and free improvisation.

In 2010 he released his first album with strings featuring the The Emergency String (X)tet, an amorphous string ensemble loosely lead by cellist and instrumentalist Bob Marsh from San Francisco that changes membership on a regular basis. That same year Romus' suite of music "Edge of Dark" inspired by Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune novels was recorded with guest work by multi-reedist/saxophonist Vinny Golia, and was released in 2011 on Nine Winds and Edgetone Records. The music focused on early compositional processes by Romus incorporating a more acoustic approach to the music with CJ Borosque adding a third horn on trumpet and opening up solos to include much of Vinny Golia's cache of reed instruments. Continuing this exploration of a balanced approach to acoustics and electronics Romus released Thee Unhip in 2012 by the Lords of Outland consisting featuring a cross section of older and new compositions including compositions inspired by Kraken Mare discovered on Saturn's Moon of Titan by the Cassini space probe and a dedication to Italian horror director Amando de Ossorio.

In 2013 Romus began working on his first set of original works inspired by the Finnish National Epic known as the Kalevala entitled The Otherworld Cycle. In 2014 the Life's Blood Ensemble returned to release Truth Teller and Cimmerian Crossroads with bassists Kim Cass, Markus Hunt and Timothy Orr. From 2014 to 2015 Romus presented The Otherworld Cycle with an extended 12-piece Life's Blood Ensemble in a series of improvisations and compositions inspired by the Finnish National Epic known as the Kalevala. This production lead him to tour Southern Finland forming the Finnish/USA group the Otherworld Ensemble in 2017 where they performed and recorded with Teppo Hauta-aha, Mikko Inanen, Olavi Louhivuori, Heikki Koskinen, and members of Black Motor. The second Kalevala suite, Manala took shape in 2018 which was focused on the stories of the Finnish underworld and the songs that welded the power to journey to and from Manala. In 2019 he took the Manala suite to Finland alongside his collaborator musical partner Heikki Koskinen performing throughout Southern and Central Finland with the Otherworld Ensemble featuring Professor Heikki Laitinen and bassist Eero Tikkanen.

2019 Suomi Seura, Finland Ministry of Culture Grant to debut performance of Manala, Berkeley, CA
2019 Finlandia Foundation National Grant for the debut performance of Manala, Berkeley, CA
2019 Intermusic Music Grant Program to complete the Recording of Manala, San Francisco CA
2017 Finlandia Foundation National Travel Grant for Otherworld Finland Tour
2016 San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Musical Grant Program for The Road to Aacheron Oratorio Berkeley, CA
2015 Finlandia Foundation National Grant for The Otherworld Cycle, Berkeley, CA
2014 San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Musical Grant Program San Francisco, CA
2013 New Music USA Metlife Creative Connections Grant, San Francisco, CA
2006 Meet the Composer Creative Connections Grant, Philadelphia, PA
2003 Meet The Composer Grant, Meridian Gallery Series, San Francisco, CA

2018-19 Manala, an original suite inspired by the netherworld runes of the Finnish Kalevala
2017 The Road to Aacheron an original oratorio inspired by fantastic fiction writing of the 1930's
2014-15"The Otherworld Cycle" , a new music odyssey inspired by the Kalavela Finnish National Epic
2013 "Cloudknitter Suite" Improvisations on the story and art of Leo Reijnders
2011 "Edge of Dark" Inspired by Frank Herbert's Dune Series featuring Vinny Golia
2011 “The Proceedings Suite #1” based on new literary writing of Dr. Charles Poncé
2009 "Legion of Dagon" Music inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft
2001 “Rent Romus’ A Dark Spring in San Francisco, Ravens’ Gate” inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe
2001 “Children of the Black Hole” inspired by the Dune series by author Frank Herbert
2000 “VORTEX MUSIC” Improvisations on Sci Fi Author Phil K. Dick
2000 The Sonic Scream String Ensemble with the readings of Edgar Allan Poe
2000 The Metal Quan Yin, "Destinations Suite", music based on the writings of poet C.J. Reaven Borosque
1996 “Jazz and Dance with Maia Heiss” @ Kuumbwa Jazz Center Santa Cruz
1995 “Jazz and the Art of Sharon Moore” @ SF Community Music Center

Bakersfield CA, Chico CA, Los Angeles CA, Oakland CA, Sacramento CA, Stockton CA, San Francisco CA, San Jose CA, San Diego CA, New York NY, Brooklyn NY, Ashland OR, St. Louis MO, Champaign IL, Cincinnati OH, Clevelnad OH, Columbus OH, Yellow Springs OH, Portland OR, Detroit MI, Philadephia PA, Olympia WA
Karrebæksminde, Copenhagen, Arhus
Helsinki, Kerava, Tampere, Joensuu, Savonlinna, Riihimäki, Hämeenlinna, Jyväskylä

we are sparks in the universe to our own fire, ruth weiss, Edgetone 2021
Return from Manala, Otherworld Ensemble, Edgetone 2020
Manala, Life’s Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2020
The New Neighbors, Guniea Pig, Edgetone 2020
25 years under the mountain, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2019
side three New Work, Life’s Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2019
Northern Fire, Otherworld Ensemble, Edgetone 2018
Live at Malmitalo, Otherworld Ensemble, Edgetone 2018
Rogue Star, Life’s Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2018
In the darkness we speak a sound brightness and life, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2017
Deciduous / Midwestern Edition Vol. 1, with Gerard Cox, Hasan Abdur-Razzaq and others, Edgetone 2017
Rising Colossus, Life’s Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2016
LiR, with Daniel Pearce, Teddy Rankin-Parker, Edgetone 2016
The Otherworld Cycle, Life's Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2015
Lords O Leaping, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2015
Cimmerian Crossroads, Life's Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2014
The Proceedings of Dr. Ké, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2014
Truth Teller, Life's Blood Ensemble, Edgetone 2013
Thee Unhip, Lords of Outland, Nine Winds 2012
Cloud Knitter Suite Live, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2012
Edge of Dark, Lords of Outland with Vinny Golia, Edgetone 2011
Emergency Rental, The Emergency String (X)tet meet Rent Romus, Edgetone 2010
XV (the first fifteen years 1994-2009), Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2009
Sudden Aurora, Bloom Project with Thollem Mcdonas, Edgetone 2009
GRID, Ministry of Rites, Edgetone 2008
Thundershine, Jazz On The Line with Chico Freeman (re-issuse), Edgetone 2008
Prismatic Season, Bloom Project, Edgetone 2008
You can sleep when you're dead!, Lords of Outland, Edgetone 2008
Bloom, Bloom Project with Thollem Mcdonas, Jon Brumit, Steven Baker, Edgetone 2006
Culture of Pain, Lords of Outland, Edgetone, 2006
LEGION OF DAGON, Tri-Cornered Tent Show , Edgetone, 2004
Novo Navigatio, The Abstractions, Edgetone/Pax Records, 2004
ARS VIVENDE, The Abstractions, Edgetone/Pax Records, 2003
Sonic Conspiracy, The Abstractions, Edgetone/Pax Records, 2002
The Metal Quan Yin, Lords of Outland with poet C.J. Reaven Borosque, Edgetone, 2001
PKD Vortex Project – New Music composed inspired by the Stories of Phil K. Dick, Edgetone, 2001
Out of Town, Guinea Pig, Edgetone, 2001
Avatar In the Field – A Tribute to Albert Ayler, Lords of Outland, Edgetone, 2001
Blood Motions, Life’s Blood Trio, Jazzheads Records, 1999
Adapt…or DIE!, Lords of Outland with John Tchicai, Jazzheads Records, 1997
You’ll Never Be The Same, Lords of Outland, Jazzheads Records, 1995
Jazz On The Line with Chico Freeman, In The Moment, Edgetone Records, 1994
Jazz On the Line, no boundaries, Edgetone Records, 1991
Jazz On The Line, Dark Wind, Edgetone Records, 1988

In the Water, Trouble Ensemble, Edgetone Records, 2018
Jazz & Haiku, ruth weiss, flugschrift/Absurdia Records, 2018
Sisällä​/​Ulkona (Inside​/​Outside), Heikki Koskinen's Northern Winds & Voices, Edgetone Records, 2016
Ear of the Storm, T.D. skachit & Co., Edgetone Records, 2013
The Awakening, Jim Ryan's Forward Energy, Edgetone Records, 2012
The Foolkiller, Tri-Cornered Tent Show, Edgetone Records, 2005
Reverberations of Spring Past, Diaz-Infante/Montoya/Fernandes/Romus, Pax, 2005
C.O.M.A. California Outside Music Associates, Edgetone/Jazzheads Records, 2004
TWO FORMS OF MULTITUDES, Moe!kestra!, Edgetone/Pax, 2003
CONFIGURATIONS, Jim Ryan's Forward Energy, Edgetone Records, 2002
Bleedin’ Heart, Paris Slim with Joe Lewis Walker, Sonny Rhodes, Globe Records, 1996

Bloom Project
Life's Blood Ensemble
Lords of Outland
Otherworld Ensemble
Rent Romus Trio
The Ruminations

Executive Director of
Owner & Artistic Director: Edgetone Records
Director, The Annual Outsound New Music Summit
Co-Curator, SIMM Music Series in San Francisco
Co-Curator, Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series