Russell Bizzett

2007 - Individual Artist

Hometown: Sioux City, IA

Bio: Born in Sioux City, Russell Bizzett grew up in a family of musicians and started playing on his father’s knee at age 5. Both grandfathers were professional musicians.

His mother’s father was a boogie-woogie piano player and his father’s father was a jazz trumpet player and big band orchestra leader. His father was a jazz drummer who played with the Ink Spots. One brother played trumpet, another the sax; both played drums as well.

His love for drums drove him to pursue this calling. At 12 he started playing gigs at his grandfather’s nightclub and by the time he was 19, he was touring with Chuck Berry. The following year he toured with Muddy Waters. Russell moved to New York City and studied with Roy Haynes as well as attended jazz workshops in Harlem.

From 1974 to 1976 Bizzett toured and recorded with rock legend Tommy Bolin. In 1977 he studied East Indian rhythms with Colin Walcot at Naropa Institute in Boulder. Colo. From 1979-81 he toured with jazz legend Freddy Hubbard and participated in the 1981 Bo Diddly tour.

Jose Feliciano was his touring gig from 1982-1990. He recorded for the "Laverne & Shirley Show’ under Bennett Salvey, "The Merv Griffin Show" under Mort Lindsey, musical director between 1983 and 1985; during downtime from touring. Later he also recorded for the "Northern Exposure" TV series. The Independent film "Stanley’s Gig" also featured his talents on the soundtrack.

Russell toured with French pop icon Michel Jonasz from 1997-98, when he began to study with international jazz drummer Billy Higgins. Between tours he spent his time recording and performing in the Los Angeles area.

He was worked and recorded with a large variety of artists including: Jimmy Smith, Billy Preston, Robben Ford, Jeff Berlin, Raul De Sousa, Jose Jose, Carol Kaye, Jane Getz, Eric Reed, Eric Marienthal, Wilton Felder, Rob Mullins, Ravi Coltrane, Dale Fielder Quartet, Michael Ruff, Mike Miller, The Fowler Brothers Air Pocket Band (former members of the Frank Zappa Band), Michel Danton, Steve Barta, Barry Wedgle, Kim Stone, Tom Scott, Rick Zunigar, George Bohanon, John Heard, Frank Zottoli, Ronald Muldrow, Dwight Trible, Kenny Garrett and many more.

In addition, Russell as has performed with world renowned symphony orchestras: Chicago Pops, Atlanta Pops, Boston Pops, Vienna Pops and East Berlin Pops.

Bizzett currently resides in North San Diego County, Calif. He spends his time recording, freelancing, teaching and working with a Colorado based record company.

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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