He grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois playing trumpet. As a kid his musical interest was hip hop, with LL Cool J being his first music idol. His projects include a large ensemble called Bionic, which released an album called Krunk Jazz, and his smaller group Electrik Butterfly.
In 2007, Gunn released the album Russell Gunn Plays Miles.
- 1995 - Young Gunn (Muse)
- 1997 - Gunn Fu (HighNote)
- 1998 - Young Gunn Plus (32 Jazz)
- 1999 - Love Requiem (HighNote)
- 1999 - Ethnomusicology, Vol. 1 (Atlantic)
- 2000 - Smokin' Gunn (HighNote)
- 2001 - Ethnomusicology, Vol. 2 (Justin Time)
- 2002 - Blue on the D.L. (HighNote)
- 2003 - Ethnomusicology, Vol. 3 (Justin Time)
- 2003 - Mood Swings (HighNote)
- 2004 - Ethnomusicology, Vol. 4: Live in Atlanta (Justin Time)
- 2006 - Russell Gunn Presents... Bionic: Krunk Jazz (Groid)
- 2007 - Russell Gunn Plays Miles (HighNote)
- 2008 - Love Stories (HighNote)
- 2010 - Ethnomusicology, Vol. 6: Return of Gunn Fu (Groid)
- 2013 - Russell Gunn & Elektrik Butterfly: Elektrik Funeral (Hot Shoe Music)
As sideman and co-leader
- 1994 - Oliver Lake: Dedicated to Dolphy (Black Saint)
- 1994 - Wynton Marsalis: Blood on the Fields (Columbia)
- 1997 - Carlos Garnett: Under Nubian Skies (HighNotee)
- Payne, Douglas (1 May 1999). "Russell Gunn: Ethnomusicology, Volume 1". All About Jazz. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Russell Gunn: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Russell Gunn at All About Jazz Archived 2006-05-28 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kelman, John (21 March 2007). "Russell Gunn: Plays Miles (2007)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 5 June 2011.