Russ grew up in a musical family where drums were the focus. Both Russ’s father and grandfather played drums along with his grandmother and great-grandparents all working as professional musicians. Drums continued to be the focus throughout school and early academic years performing in school orchestras, theatre productions as well as playing side drum in the Royal Marine and RAF cadet corps.
Russ began his music studies graduating in Sound Recording and Music Business, as well as receiving the award for ‘Best Performing Student’ at Drumtech. Starting out in the industry, Russ worked at EMI Records as an A&R Assistant, played percussion for the Ministry Of Sound, performed numerous West End theatre productions, and worked as a drummer for the Holland America cruise line.
As a percussionist Russ has appeared on a host of remixes and played live alongside DJs such as Danny Rampling, Jazzie B, Norman Jay, Joey Negro, Todd Terry and Kenny Dope. Live performances have toured Europe, Hawaii and Mexico and shared the stage with Courtney Pine, The James Taylor Quartet, Ola Onabule, The Players and Trio Valore.
Russ founded his own drum studio in 2003 and works closely with many schools and students teaching drums. Russ’s own teachers include Bob Armstrong, Steve White and Ralph Salmins. Russ continues to play weekly at private events, Jazz gigs as well as co-coordinating the hugely successful function band ‘The Freestyle Funk Collective’ and co-promotes, plays percussion and DJs at the critically acclaimed dance night ‘Funktifino’.
In 2015 Russ toured China for four weeks endorsing Premier Drums and performing drum clinics across ten cites, along with co-hosting a drum clinic with Mr. Steve White back in the UK. Russ also performed at events for Bear Grylls, Chris Evans and TFI Friday, Piers Morgan, Elisabeth Murdoch, the European Games in Azerbaijan, the Evening Standard TV Awards and the BAFTAs.
In 2016 Russ set up his own publishing company and released two play-along books with Steve White featuring Russ’s full transcriptions of Steve’s playing on the Trio Valore and The Family Silver albums with the book launch taking place at the London Drum Show.