Russ Kassoff - Bio

Russ Kassoff
Pianist/Music Director

Russ Kassoff is an accomplished jazz pianist, conductor, composer, orchestrator, and arranger, teacher and mentor, whose varied talents are much valued and on display in the music world.

Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra by request from ’80-’91, including The Ultimate Event  world-wide tour (’88-’89) televised nationally on PBS featuring Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli. Russ also served as Liza's pianist/accompanist from '82-'01 and as Minnelli's music director and conductor for the acclaimed Minnelli on Minnelli national tour ('00). In ’98 Russ was pianist/conductor on Broadway for Charles Aznavour in concert taking him to the west coast for the Las Vegas grand opening of The Hotel Paris along with the Michel Legrand Orchestra.

In the Jazz world he has enjoyed a 35+ year association with Bucky Pizzarelli being a member of the legendary Cafe Pierre trio. Over the years Russ has led groups and accompanied singers including Annie Ross, Vic Damone, Mimi Hines, Chris Connor, Tony Bennett, Maureen McGovern, Carol Sloan, Ute Lemper, Faith Prince, Gregory Hines, Yvonne Constant, and others too numerous to mention! Since 2003 Russ has been the music director / pianist to Rita Moreno, and currently leads a “Rascals” - like band to perform with Eddie Brigati: After The Rascals produced by Steven Van Zandt. 2018 saw the release of Big Band Broadway with Russ’s 17 piece Big Band starring Tony winner Debbie Gravitte with whom he regularly performs. His current release “Bird Fly By” received much critical acclaim and was #1 on Music Choice.