The Rippingtons

Russ Freeman is the founder and leader of the popular contemporary jazz group, The Rippingtons.

Raised in Nashville, Freeman began playing guitar at age 10, and was lured into the world of studio sessions via a friend of his father’s, studio guitarist John Pell.

By the time he was 16, Russ was playing on record dates regularly. After moving to L.A. in 1978, Russ studied at Cal Arts and U.C.L.A. In 1985 he combined his abilities with guitar, studiocraft and songwriting on his debut album “Nocturnal Playground”. The next year he founded the Rippingtons, and produced the much-acclaimed “Moonlighting” CD.

Since then Russ has maintained a busy schedule of writing, touring, and producing. In 1996 Russ started Peak Records with partner Andi Howard. The label has grown to include such artists as Lee Ritenour, Paul Taylor, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, Latoya London, David Benoit, and Regina Belle.

The Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards have honored Russ with a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as Producer Of the Year 2001. The Rippingtons were chosen Best Group 2000 by Billboard BET, and Best Group 2 years in a row, 2001 and 2002 by the Oasis Awards, in addition to Achievement in Video 2001.

Russ was also the recipient of a Most Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996 from the University School of Nashville, Tennessee.

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