He left collage after two years when he began traveling with the Charmaine Neville Band. He continues his love of marching bands by acting as assistant director of Redeemer-Seaton High School when his schedule permits.
Russell left the Charmaine Neville Band in 1989 to join with Art Neville and George Porter Jr. of the Meters and guitarist Brian Stoltz to form the Funky Meters. Russell was with George Porter and the Runnin' Pardners for many years and has played with a wide variety of performers including Harry Connick, Jr., Champion Jack Dupree, Robbie Robertson, Maceo Parker as well as local and regional bands too numerous to mention. Along with Vida Blue and his own band, Russell Batiste and the Orchestra from da Hood, he continues to play with the funky Meters and is an intergral part of Poppa Grows Funk, a fast-rising original funk band from New Orleans.
Russell Batiste and the Orchestra from Da Hood is Russell's own project and he is currently working on a second CD. The core band is eight members strong but at different times the group may grow to include as many as twelve or more. All the music is written and arranged by Russell, including all of the intricate horn parts. The band plays all types of music including straight ahead and smooth jazz, funk, reggae, rock and even a cajun flavored waltz dedicated to his grandfather who hails from Cajun country.