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Russell Batiste

Born David Russell Batiste, Jr. December 12, 1965 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
His father, David Batiste, was leader of a family band, David Batiste and the Gladiators, credited by many with being one of the most pioneering funk bands. The Batiste family is one of New Orleans' most prolific musical families, with the Batiste Brothers Band and David Batiste and the Gladiators now playing regularly. Batiste children and grandchildren can be found playing with scores of other bands as well as leading their own projects.
Russell began playing drums at age four and began sitting in with the family band at age seven. He was playing saxophone in the school band by fifth grade and can now hold his own on keyboards, trumpet, bass and guitar. He attended St. Augustine High School and was a member of the nationally known Marching One Hundred Band, playing in the drum section and writing cadences that are still heard during Mardi Gras parade season even today. He attended Southern University of New Orleans on a music scholarship, studying under the renown Edward "Kidd" Jordan.

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.

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