Helen Russell

10 Shows

Since moving to Brisbane in the 80’s, having completed a Dip. Creative Arts (Music) in Toowoomba, Helen has been in demand as a bassist, playing with both local jazz identities and visiting interstate and international artists. She has played for Brisbane seasons of major musicals such as Chicago and Singin’ in the Rain. Her Musical Direction credits include Women in Voice (1998 – 2013), Chicago & Sweet Charity (2003 & 2006, Empire Theatre Toowoomba), Noel Coward’s We Were Dancing (2003, QTC), Way Out West (2001) and Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls (2005, La Boite Theatre Company).
Helen tutored in jazz bass and small ensembles at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music from 1997- 2014, and is now Lecturer in Contemporary Music at USQ. She completed Masters study at Griffith University in the field of ear training for jazz and popular musicians via A Cappella singing, an method which has been trialed successfully at Brisbane’s Jazz Music Institute. She served on the board of the Brisbane Cabaret Festival from its inception until 2011.
Helen has performed and recorded with musical projects in a range of genres. She was a member of Brisbane’s hippest jazz group of the 90’s, “Bebopera” and since 1997 has been leading her own band, “Good Bait”. As a sideman she has recorded with Louise Denson, Ingrid James, Leah Cotterell, Sharny Russell, Leigh Carriage, Stacey Broughton and the Brand New Sweeties and the Joshua Hatcher Quintet. Helen has played, sung, recorded and contributed compositions to country band “18 Wheels” and gospel outfit “Tell Heaven”, and played and recorded as sideman to alt-country artist Chris Pickering for several years. Her most recent project is to step out of the backing vocalist shadows and feature herself as jazz vocalist, combing the standard repertoire for neglected gems.