Biography

Who he is…

Russ Frost Drumming
Russ Frost performing on the conga drums.

Russ grew up near Detroit, Michigan. Being tall at 6’8” he played basketball in high school then received an athletic scholarship to play at the University of Toledo. After 4 years at the university he traveled to Europe where he played professional basketball for 3 years. Returning to the U.S. he finished his degree as a Media Center Specialist and proceeded to work with students in public education for 30 years. During this time he spent approximately 20 years in the martial arts, ran his own karate club for over 10 years and earned the rank of 4th degree black belt.

His wife, Debbie, spent 30 years in public education and they have two sons, Nathan, a teacher, and Ian, a Designer.

Around 1987 he returned to his love of drumming.  Russ started to make drums, and it has been a 20 year adventure in making and playing hand drums. With his great involvement in Latin percussion Russ started to become known as “Rusito”, thus the birth of “Conga Drums by Rusito”.

As a drum maker and percussionist, Rusito brings an intimacy to his congas that only someone who has taken raw wood and steel then turned them into a beautiful instrument can.  Studying hand drumming for over 20 years  provides  Rusito opportunities to play with a diverse range of groups that include music from all over the world. He has accompanied dance classes for the Columbus Metropolitan Ballet, The Ohio State University Dance Department, and New Albany Ballet Company. These dance classes included modern and jazz, Afro-Caribbean, African, and Haitian cultures. He has been a member of the Capital University Ethnic Drum Ensemble and a founding member of the Katabomba Drummers.  His travels to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad, West Indies influenced Rustio’s drumming style.  Rusito’s drumming style combines the traditional rhythms with the powerful force of funk, rhythm and blues.

His current project of Deep Blue Groove  combines the rhythms of the Caribbean with the soul of jazz, rhythm and blues.

Rusito teaches the drum making process and instruction for playing hand drums. Students design and construct their own cajon or box drum, and then conclude this drum making process with instruction on how to play their drums. During the summer months Rusito offers inspiring drum workshops to summer camps and organizations. Private drum lessons for beginners and advanced players are provided by Rusito year round.