The Jazz Deli

Every Saturday 10:00AM - 12:00 Noon Live - HD2 - Eastern Time


(Image courtesy ~ Judy Kirtley)

Russ is very excited to launch “The Jazz Deli with Russ Kassoff” on WFDU HD2. He is a lifelong student of all things. Growing up his radio heroes included all the personalities that brought you what is now known as the Great American Songbook on WNEW AM 1130 in NY and later WQEW 1560. These hosts included Steve Allen, William B Williams, Jim Lowe, Stan Martin, Ted Brown, Klavin and Finch, Al “Jazzbo” Collins to name a few. Today his radio gurus are Jonathan Schwartz, Michael Bourne, the entire WBGO cast of jazz hosts and of course our very own Lise Avery here at WFDU who maintains the most eclectic all-encompassing, fun music program of all - Anything Goes!

Russ plans to share his recordings going all the way back to childhood and beyond, some no longer in release, recordings of performers both instrumental and vocal who he is somewhat connected to, bring you new discoveries, play his own specially recorded live piano versions of songs you know and many you don’t, and have live performances and interviews with folks in his unique world who otherwise aren’t heard on the radio very often.

Each week Russ will include Frank Sinatra, and there will often be a dedication or two. His main goal is to bring some laughter into your hearts, minds, homes and cars through his music, and provide a joyful positive start of your Saturday mornings to help carry you through the weekend!!!

Russ Kassoff is an accomplished jazz pianist, conductor, composer, orchestrator, and arranger, whose varied talents are much valued and on display in the music world.  Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra by request from '80-'91 including "The Ultimate Event Tour" ('88-'89) featuring Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and Liza Minnelli with whom he toured for 18 years ('82-'01). On Broadway he was MD/Conductor for Twyla Tharp's "Come Fly Away"  (2010) and was conductor/pianist for Charles Aznavour in concert (’98). Currently he serves as music director to Rita Moreno. Russ has appeared with Tony winner Debbie Gravitte since 2001 and in 2012 was music director for a touching gala event for the Pasadena Symphony & Pops in tribute to and in memory of Marvin Hamlisch. Russ will perform with his trio for the 11th annual JazzPA music festival on July 25 in Bellefonte, PA featuring Master Guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Russ has served as music director of this festival throughout its history. In 2007 Russ appeared as a featured guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR as a result of the release of his critically acclaimed CD “SOMEWHERE”. In addition to being music director of numerous events, he has accompanied Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Charles Aznavour, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Vic Damone, Carly Simon and Luciano Pavarotti in a lifetime career of spectacular concerts, to name a few. In the jazz world he has enjoyed a 30+ year association with Bucky Pizzarelli and has recorded with the likes of Red Norvo, Chris Connor, Mimi Hines, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and Sylvia Syms. He currently can be heard several times a year at the Knickerbocker in NYC with various personnel and leads his own Big Band - The RKBB - in concert annually at the John Birks Gillespie auditorium in the Bahai Center, and at Midday Jazz at Saint Peters in the Citicorp Center - all in NYC. His current CD "BIRD FLY BY" was in the top 10 for 52 weeks and achieved #1 status in 2010 on the Jazz channel of Music Choice. In the words of the Chairman of the Board, “You are the best.” - Frank Sinatra, ‘87

Please visit for additional bio information and please visit the Celebrity Deli Wall of Fame!

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