Brought up in a musical family, 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.
Batiste 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. The funky Meters without Art Neville currently plays under the name Porter Batiste Stoltz (PBS). (with George Porter Jr. on bass, and Brian Stoltz on guitar)
As a solo artist, he leads his own band Russell Batiste Jr. and the Orkestra from ‘Da Hood and has released two albums under the name.
Batiste also plays regularly with organ player Joe Krown and guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington as the Krown Washington Batiste trio. This unit released a live CD Live at the Maple Leaf in 2008.
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. In 1987 Batiste was in the New Orleans funk band Nuclear Rhythms featuring percussionist songwriter Rosie Rosato, psychedelic funk guitarist songwriter Dirk Billie and bassist songwriter Mark Adam Miller.