Raised in a musical family in New Orleans, Russell Batiste started playing drums at the age of four. He also learned to play keyboards, saxophone, guitar and bass, and started to play in the family band when he was seven. He attended St. Augustine High School and left college after two years to join Charmaine Neville's band.
He joined the funky Meters, the reincarnation of the funk band The Meters, in 1989.
Batiste also plays regularly with organ player Joe Krown and guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington as the Krown Washington Batiste trio who released a live CD Live at the Maple Leaf in 2008 and has his own band Russell Batiste and Friends, featuring Jason Neville.
Batiste has performed with wide range of musicians and bands including Papa Grows Funk, Vida Blue, Harry Connick, Jr., Champion Jack Dupree, Robbie Robertson and Maceo Parker.