Inside TDS

Kris Russell – President and Founder

“TDS” Founder-Kris Russell has had the unique advantage of being raised by two music-minded parents who were at opposite ends of the spectrum.

His father, Sam Russell, was LA’s Top Booking Agent and Manager for Hall of Fame Jazz Artist Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Burrell, and contracted festivals such as Monterey Jazz, Long Beach Jazz, the first ever Sunday Jazz Brunches, Flip Wilson and Bill Cosby shows and many TV shows, concerts and club gigs.

His mother, Mary Russell, gained her Masters in Classical Performance (Piano) and played for and educated Kris and his brother Russ, while listening to all types of music, ranging from the Classical Composers to Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll, Country Western and World music. Kris credits his current appreciation and love for all forms of Music to the exposure these two wonderful parents gifted him throughout their lives.

Kris Russell is a Drum Technician, Drum Set Teacher, Drum Line Instructor, Personal Performance Coach,

Drum Set Designer, Percussion Judge, Clinician, Industry Liaison, Stage Director, and Performer who loves sharing the gifts he’s been given.“In order to keep it, you have to give it away”.

Kris has played with some of of the greatest Jazz Icons to grace the stage such as Roy Ayers, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Blue Mitchell, Marshall Royal, Bill Green, Herman Riley and has played next to drum legend, Billy Higgins along with playing in groups like Mad Jones, Dejåvu, and early Jazz Fusion group, Summersound among others.

Kris is the “Check 1,2 Tech” and has worked with some of the industry’s most prolific Drum Artists including;
Trevor Lawrence Jr, Felix “D-Kat” Pollard, Ronald Bruner Jr, Oscar Seaton, Franklin Vanderbilt, David Leech, Melena, Tony Moore, Chad Wright and Zac Hanson .

Tours and/or Shows with, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Hicks, Chris Brown, Rise, Hanson, Earth Wind & Fire and from “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno in Hollywood to “The Today Show” with Meredith Vieira and Al Roker in New York.

Kris Russell is the Co-Founder of 3 legendary organizations “JMADA” or  John Muir Alumni  Drummers Association for the preservation of the Swing style “Pasadena Legacy”; the Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps -”B” Line, which helped produced some top World Champion Drum & Bugle Corps Players and Highly Decorated Instructors; and the Valley Regiment Drum Line, part of the “International Percussion Academy” which was a standard bearer for today’s Music Ensemble and Visual Ensemble design for Drumlines. Kris also taught the Pasadena Unified All Star Band, Apple Valley High, Inglewood High, Coachella Valley High and has been a marching member of the Pasadena City College Band, the Official Tournament of Roses Band, and the Awarding Winning group “JMADA”,having achieved  Section Leader/Head Drummer at all three.

Kris has attended Pasadena City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Cal State Los Angeles and the Legendary “Grove School of Music” along with countless Clinics, Concerts and Master Classes.