Plunger Mute

Plunger Mute

<< >>
Usage conditions apply

This mute was made by an unknown maker, provence unknown, around 1970-1990. It is a plunger mute, made of a rubber red-colored plumber's plunger without handle.

This mute was previously owned and used by William Russo (1928-2003), American composer, arranger, musician, teacher, and founder of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Russo composed more than 200 pieces for jazz orchestra. Throughout his career, Russo work included collaborations with Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Stan Kenton, Cannonball Adderley, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Cleo Laine, and Billie Holiday.

Currently not on view
Object Name
manufacturing date
Russo, William
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
overall: 3 in x 5 5/8 in; 7.62 cm x 14.2875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Camille Davis Russo Blinstrub, Barbara Russo Evans, Alexander W. Russo, and Condee Nast Russo
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.