Betina Hershey Russo is a native New Yorker born to a Broadway musician and a painter. She has toured the country and the world and played upon NYC stages as a singer, dancer, and musical theater performer. She has been writing and singing songs ever since she started talking...

She is a vocalist/guitarist/composer for Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches and Hot Jazz Jumpers.

Find her original CD Wish I Could Stay at CDBaby
childrens musicals at Beat by Beat Press
and more music right here on this page!

Musicals include Behind The Scenes, Finding Home, My Duck Jack, Musicville, The Big Leap, Lemontales, Certain

The Hershey Russo Blues and Soul Band had their debut performance July 25th, 2009 for blues dancers at the Blues Cafe in Boston. The photo to the left shows: Betina Hershey (vocals), Amanda Gruhl (back-up vocals), Shawn Hershey (trumpet), Lowell Hershey (trumpet). Photo to the right: Betina, Nick Russo (guitar), Shawn, Dimitry (bass).

"Wish I Could Stay,", the first project on Betina's new label, Loping Raven Records, was recorded at John Guth's studio, north of the city and released in 2000. Jeff Ganz on bass, Jeff Berman on drums, Scott Kuney on guitar added their musicality to Betina's songs while she sang and played guitar. There were horn appearances by Shawn Hershey, Lowell Hershey, and Bruce Bonvissuto, and John Guth added ideas and played guitar and various instruments on a few songs, especially Childlike Lover, on which he is the only other musician besides Betina. For audio samples of "Wish I Could Stay," visit CDBaby.com or visit iTunes.

On February 8th, 2009 we had a Benefit Performance of the Hershey Russo Family Jazz Combo for the Garden Players Kids with Betina (vocals & guitar), husband Nick (guitar & banjo), father Lowell (trumpet), Lynn Gardner (special guest vocals), Dan Olson (bass), Mike Jett (drummer).

On October 20th Betina and her husband, Nick Russo, came out with a cd called "Gettin' Married," all originals written for each other. Go to Myspace.com/betinahersheyrusso to hear a few of the songs from the album.
1. I Do (2:33) Guitar: Nick Russo, Vocal: Betina Hershey

"Behind The Scenes" premiered May 17th, 2008, with the Garden Players. Idea by Carol Hershey. Lyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casaodo. Book by Hershey, Casado & Gwynne Watkins.
1. This Is Gonna Be Big (1:51) Music Tracks: Denver Casado, Vocal: Garden Player Kids
2. My Best Friend (1:58) Music Tracks: Denver Casado, Vocal: Garden Player Kids
3. It's All Part of the Magic (3:27) Music Tracks: Denver Casado, Vocal: Garden Player Kids

"Space Pirates" premiered May 19th, 2007, with the Garden Players. Book by Gwynne Watkins, Music by Denver Casaod, Lyrics by Betina Hershey & Gwynne Watkins.

"Bounce to the Wave", a jazzy swing dance/contact improv piece with a live band premiered at Wagner College in November of 2006. Choreography & concept by Betina Hershey. Lyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Steven Sweeting.
1. Certain (3:12) Piano: Steve Sweeting, Vocal: Betina Hershey (demo)

"Finding Home", an hour long children's musical written with composer Eddie Guttman, premiered in 2005.
1. He Loves Me (1:23) Piano: Eddie Guttman, Vocal: Emily Krohn
2. I Long For Home (2:02) Piano: Eddie Guttman, Vocal: Max Jenkins and Emily Krohn
3. Don't Trust A Human (1:34) Piano: Eddie Guttman, Vocal: Pernell
4. Take What You Need (2:59)Piano: Eddie Guttman
5. This Place Is Magic (1:51) Piano: Eddie Guttman, Vocal: Max Jenkins & Emily Krohn
6. Stop And Live Up To Your Dreams (4:02) Piano: Eddie Guttman, Vocal: Pernell

In September of 2004 Betina was accepted as a lyricist to the Lehman Engle BMI Musical Theater Program and began writing with a very talented composer, Denver Casado. In addition to the many cabaret songs they have written and seen performed, they have written three children's musicals for the Garden Players.

In 2005, Betina and Denver Casado wrote "The Big Leap",
1. On My Lonesome (2:48) Piano: Denver Casado, Vocal: Betina Hershey
2. My Perfect World Would Rhyme (3:12) Piano: Denver Casado, Vocal: Tatiana Lizcano

They also wrote a 20 minute musical, "Finding The Wonder," which won 2nd place in the 2006 BAD Musical Festival (book by Gwynne Watkins) and is having another reading done in February, 2007.
1. My Duck Jack (3:12) Piano: Denver Casado, Vocal: Ioana Preda & Betina Hershey

"Musicville", another hour long family musical, premiered in May, 2006. Book by Denver Casado & Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Lyrics by Betin Hershey.
1. Beat by Beat Piano: Denver Casado, Vocal: Betina Hershey & Denver Casado (rough demo)
2. Song of Silence Piano: Denver Casado, Vocal: Denver Casado & Betina Hershey (rough demo)

"Lemontales," Betina's first children's musical (written with help from Matt Gough) premiered in May 2004, performed by 30 kids in The Garden Players, grades K-8th grade. Book, music & lyrics by Betina Hershey.
1. Come Sit On The Porch (2:41) Guitar & Vocal: Betina Hershey
2. No Show Business (1:45) Piano: Carol Hershey, Vocals: The Garden Players of May, 2004

Date Big ProjectsAuthors
2000 Wish I Could StaySongs by Betina Hershey. Produced by Lowell & Betina Hershey
2001 Stillborn Family FunSongs by Betina Hershey. Unreleased solo album
2002 Smoke In The SkySongs by Betina Hershey. Unreleased solo album
2004 LemontalesBook, Music, Lyrics by Betina Hershey. Assistance from Matt Gough.
2004-06 Lehman Engle's BMI Program
2005 Finding Home Book & Lyrics by Hershey. Music by Eddie Guttman.
2005 The Big Leap Book & Lyrics by Hershey. Music by Denver Casado.
2005 Finding The Wonder Lyrics by Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Gwynne Watkins.)
2006 Musicville Lyrics by Hershey. Book by Casado & Hershey. Music by Denver Casado.
2006 Bounce to the Wave Choreography & Lyrics by Hershey. Music by Steve Sweeting.
2007 Space Pirates Lyrics by Hershey & Watkins. Book by Gwynne Watkins. Music by Denver Casado.
2007 Gettin' Married CDMusic, Lyrics & Arrangements: Betina Hershey Russo & Nick Russo.
2008 Behind The Scenes Idea by Carol Hershey. Lyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by B. Hershey, Casado & Gwynne Watkins.
2009 America's Top EnsembleLyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Hershey & Casado.
2010 We Are MonstersLyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Hershey & Casado.
2011 Musicville HighLyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Hershey & Casado.
2012 The GrunchLyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Hershey & Casado. Additional Material by Brian Dawson
2013 The Most Epic Birthday Party EverLyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Denver Casado. Book by Hershey & Casado.
2015 The Very Next ThingHot Jazz Jumpers album with 1920's, New Orleans, and originals by Miles Griffith & Nick Russo
2016 Very Next ThingBanjo Nickaru & Western Scooches album with originals by Betina Hershey & Nick Russo
2016 What If?Book & Lyrics by Betina Hershey. Music by Betina Hershey & Sunny Knable.