Russ began playing trumpet at the ripe old age of 10 in the beginners band in junior high school, and has been playing ever since. He played through high school at Messick High School in Memphis, TN, and attended Memphis State University on a full music scholarship, participating in the wind ensemble, jazz bands, and Pride of the Southland Marching Tigers marching band under the direction of Dr. Tom Ferguson. He studied trumpet under Mr. Tom Swayzee and Dr. Richard Steff in Memphis, Dr. Tom Peters at the University of Tennessee, and has performed with numerous orchestras, brass ensembles, concert bands and jazz bands for the past 30 years. He has appeared with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and the Huntsville Opera Theater Orchestra and is a founding member of the Rocket City Jazz Orchestra. Russ continues to support live music all around the Huntsville, AL area with performances with the new classic rock band Kaleidoscope and activities in the local community.