top of page

RISHON ODEL is perhaps one of the most creative talents in this era, having recently enjoyed the titles of #1 MOST ADDED ON SMOOTHJAZZ.COM and #1 ON BILLBOARD’S SMOOTH JAZZ CHARTS for his writing on “XX” (Brian Culbertson) and “You, Me & Forever” (multi-GRAMMY® award-nominee Najee). In addition to appearing in such major motion pictures such as Marshall and Breathe, the multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer is most known for his high energy and charisma onstage.

RiShon Odel has toured with smooth-jazz icon Brian Culbertson and legendary saxophonist Najee, and he is the Musical Director for Canadian pop sensation Julius Wilson. Odel is a member of the International Society of Bassists and endorses DR “Black Beauties” Strings. He has traveled and recorded with a pastiche of great artists throughout his career, including Cissy Houston, Marvin Winans, Riley Richard, Phil Perry, Me’Lisa Morgan, Donnie McClurkin, Special Gift and (Love & Hip-Hop star) “Stevie J” Jordan.

Odel burst onto the music scene in 2006 with an arco bass piece performed at the opening of the JoAnn Faletta International Guitar Competition alongside the Buffalo Select Chorus. Having authored his first instructional Book of Bass Volume 1 (Dorrance Publishing), and conducted his first orchestra in 2009 and in the same year was nominated “Best Classical Musician” by Artvoice magazine. Odel has composed music for the Eastman String Quartet, Buffalo State College Symphonic Band and The Ieda String Ensemble; which he used to score the “Less Than Perfect,” produced by film legend Reuben Santiago. In 2010, Odel released a DVD documentary on Jazz History which is available in the SUNY Interlibrary loan system under both History and Criticism. The DVD features band members of the late Charles Mingus’ tour band.

Having such a vast love of music, Odel started his musical career with just a few trips to the music store which expanded into drum workshops and videos with drumming legends Liberty DeVito, Dom Famularo and LaDell Abrams. Within his first year of playing Odel got his first professional gig with Malaco recording artist “Georgia Mass Choir,” filling in for Alex Evans (Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston).

When he is not playing or composing, Odel conducts workshops and clinics throughout the U. S., Canada and other territories. His teaching record consists of vocal and instrumental students that have gone on to Howard University, Berklee College of Music, Buffalo State College, Michigan State, and more.

Artist/Employer Roster

Cissy Houston, BET’s Comic View, Najee, Deniece Williams, Phil Perry, Meli’sa Morgan, Chinese Idol, Jaman, D’arcy Han, Chanté Moore, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Sabu Adeyola, Jacob Moon, Chantal Hendrix, Aria, Rey Scott (Sun Ra Arkestra), Papa San, Marvin Winans, Dom Famularo, Bobby Militello (Dave Brubeck Quartet), Donnie McClurkin, Ron Winans, Special Gift, B. Chase Williams, ‘Stevie J’ Jordan (Love & Hip-hop), Steven Ford, Dawkins & Dawkins, The Clark Sisters, Kay Morris, King Heritage, Kuzh, William Murphy, Outkast, J. Moss, Frank McComb, Karen Clark-Sheard, Vy Higginsen, Orlando Wright, The Fantastic Violinaires, Ricky McKinnie (Five Blind Boys), the late R.W. Shambach, Ladies First Big Band, Jeff Bradshaw, Ray Mingus, George Scott Big Band, Eric Roberson, Abic, Penelope Saunders, Alex Bugnon, Raina, Jhené Aiko, Jesse ‘JT Jazz’ Thompson, and so many more.


TV Appearances

  • Chinese Idol 2015 (Arranger)

  • BET’s Comic View 2000 w/ Host Rickey Smiley

  • Variety Club Telethon ’95

  • Spirit of Love Broadcast 94-95 season

Movie Appearances

  • Marshall 2017 (Band Member)

  • Breathe 2014 (Band member)

  • Less Than Perfect 2009 (Composer)



RiShon Odel & The 5th Element will back DeeAnn for her upcoming show at Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo, New York. Click here for more information.

If you're there make sure you say hello.

Subscribe for updates

bottom of page