Russell Baldwin was born in Bedford in 1961 and started to learn the trombone at the age of seven. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama both as a junior and full time student. Since then he has played with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, the Northern sinfonia, the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the London Concert Orchestra amongst others. He has also worked with comedians like Russ Abbot, Les Dawson, Paul Daniels, Jim Davidson and many others in shows, pantomimes and touring productions.
It was while observing musicians from both the classical and lighter fields from the trombonist's perspective at the back that the seeds were sown of International Session Orchestra (SP432), with many of the characters taken from his experiences of "band-room banter".