As a much sought-after musician, Russell Graham has had the incredible privilege of working as keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist, and/or musical director for a staggering list of artists (performance highlights include Ashford & Simpson, Patti Austin, Mary J. Blige, Roberta Flack, Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald, Nile Rodgers, Jessica Simpson, Sting, Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20, and Stevie Wonder), in both live and television settings. Russell first showed an interest in the piano at age three, and began his formal musical training a year later; he continued private studies on piano and voice until attending Harvard University, from which he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree. A professional musician since his early teens, Russell has been a member of Ray Chew's house band, "Ray Chew Live," for hit television show American Idol since 2011's Season 10, and was a member of Ray Chew & The Crew at the Apollo Theater in Harlem from 2003 through 2010. Under Ray Chew's musical directorship Russell has also been part of the house band for such shows as Showtime At The Apollo, The Singing Bee, the BET Awards and BET Honors, and the Neighborhood Ball (broadcast on ABC for President Obama's inauguration); he has worked as a part-time member of Nile Rodgers' band CHIC since 2006 as well. As a writer and producer, Russell has created recorded music for several of the television shows for which he has also been an on-screen musician. In 2010 Russell and his wife, Tanya Diona, completed Tanya's first full-length CD, "Nothing To Prove... Something To Say."