Jazz Vocalist Kris Russell was born and raised in Sacramento, California. As a teenager she discovered her passion for singing jazz music, but recalls singing from the early age of seven years old. While most of her friends were listening to folk and rock music, Kris was listening to and learning from her parents and their vast collection of jazz recordings. Both her parents were working jazz musicians, and together they formed the Jerry Murphy Quartet entertaining in and around Sacramento and Northern California for over 40 years.
Deeply influenced by jazz, singing came naturally for Kris. On those warm, sunny, afternoons in Sacramento learning and singing in her parents’ home, she studied the great jazz singers such as Anita O'day, June Christy, Julie London, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sheila Jordan to name a few. These singers introduced her to ballads, swing, the Great American Songbook, cool jazz, bebop, and traditional jazz among other styles. Her musical style was also heavily influenced by Boss Nova and Samba, spending many hours studying, listening and learning the styles of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Marcos K Valle Leny Andrade, Astrud Gilberto, Sergio Mendez, and Elis Regina and others. Her love of composer Cole Porter inspired her to choose one of his most famous songs for her debut CD.