Helen was born in Toowoomba, Queensland – the youngest of an intensely musical family. Helen was steeped in jazz and classical music, participating in vocal groups and studying classical piano from age 6.

Helen Russell Electric Bass 1988Helen began gigging as a bassist at 17 when her mother Peg, a talented jazz pianist, found herself in need of a new bass player- the departing bass player provided one lesson on the electric bass and then it was off to the gig on Saturday night!

While completing a Diploma of Creative Arts (Music) at The University of Southern Queensland, Helen studied both classical and jazz piano, arranging, orchestration and played in a Balinese gamelan orchestra.

After relocating to Brisbane in the late 80s, Helen switched to acoustic bass, since her interest in jazz had turned into a profession as she became a sought-after bassist for local jazz bands.