Robin Russell



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With the encouragement from his parents,  Los Angeles native Robin Russell began his musical experience as a tenor saxophonist under the instruction of Kay Mukagawa at Horace Mann Jr. High school playing in the school band and orchestra and continuing at Crenshaw High.  Robin attended Washington Preparatory High during his freshman year of high school.  Robin also played the sax in small combos at parties and night clubs with his brother Printle "JR" Russell,  friends Vance Tenort (LA Boopers), Keith Ivy, Rudy Copeland, Brad Pie, and others.  In his senior year of high school, Robin experienced a calling from within, and made the transition to drums.  A great deal of Robin's inspiration for drumming came from his late friend, and fellow drummer Woodrow "Sonship" Theus with whom Robin atteneded Junior and High School.   Robin also received great inspiration from listening to Floyd Sneed of "Three Dog Night", Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Buddy Miles, Sandy McKee, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, and a host of others.  While studying drums and music at Los Angeles City College, Robin was deligently jamming with friends,  drumming with Rosa Lee Brooks (Robin's Musical Godmother),  and "Magic Mushroom" (a Jimi Hendrix style trio).  During the Magic Mushroom period Robin gained a burst of inspiration from drummer Ronnie Hammon of Ballin Jack, as Magic Mushroom was opening act for Ballin Jack at the Los Angeles Watts Festival.  Robin was also drumming with his friends Perry Stevens, Blackbyrd McKinght (P-Funk), Carl Suttles, Larry Burns, and Kenny Byrd, in various  R&B, Rock, and Blues bands.   During this period Robin also gigged with, and trained under Johnny "Guitar" Watson, whom Robin proclaims as his "Musicial Godfather".  At age NINETEEN the engagements with Mr. Watson lead Robin to the drum throne for "Little Richard",  thereby touring the USA and Europe. A segment of those engagements with "Richard"  can be seen in the classic video, "The London Rock and Roll Show," filmed at Wimbley Stadium, London England, August 1972.   Upon returning to the USA from the Wimbely gig, in SEPTEMBER of 1972 in LOS ANGELES, Robin auditioned for and joined the New Birth/Nite-Liters entity.  "Birthday", by New Birth and "Analysis", by the Nite-Liters,  were the first of many albums Robin recorded with his new musical family.  A great deal of Robin's first year or so with New Birth was spent in the band's alternate home - Detriot, Michigan, where Robin first experienced living in the snow.  Detroit also gave Robin the opportunity (by means of Jim Wright (jaydoubleyou) and family) to meet  and have custom personal leather clothing made by none other than "Tom the Leatherman", of Detriot, Michigan.   During this period (1975) Robin made a cameo apperance as a guest percussionist (cowbell) with Buddy Miles (Buddy Miles & and The Earth Movers) in an episode of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert as aired on national TV.    In his post New Birth years, Robin toured the USA and Europe with disco giant Sylvester, reunited with Mr. Waston for gigs,  and played for various artist such as R&B pioneers Richard Berry (writer of "Louie Louie"),  and Danny Flores (writer of "Tequila").  It was during this period that Robin's son Anjalo was born (Anjalo is also a musician/producer/performer - see Link Page).  Robin is currently composing and publishing original works, giving private drum lessons, and has reunited with New Birth for REUNION performances across the country.  Robin has also performed with Brad Pie, Mike Dubin, Askyahimbe, performed solo gigs,  occasional recording sessions, and has worked from time to time as a DJ for Anita Rapely's Belly Dancing Troupe.