Stephen and Lucy Russo, co-founders of Russo Music, first opened their doors on October 23rd, 1960 on South Broad Street in Trenton, NJ. Stephen, an avid musician, loved playing the accordion in local clubs four or five nights a week, while still maintaining his full-time job as a caster at American Standard. His dream was to play professionally, but when they started a family, that did not seem like an option. That’s when Lucy and Steve had a vision to open their own music store together. It was the perfect combination to fulfill his passion for music, while staying close to his family.
The Russo’s turned their front porch into a “small store” which consisted of two teaching studios and a small selling area. Stephen kept his job as a caster for the first 5 years, while Lucy ran the store during the day. The store inventory at that time consisted of some accordions, a few guitars and guitar strings. They had a tough time convincing the big suppliers to work with them. None of the American band suppliers were willing to give them a franchise, but eventually would relent after seeing the commitment to excellence Stephen and Lucy brought to the industry.
With their strong belief in community ties, the Russo Family business began to grow and provide band instruments to local schools. By the early 1980’s, Russo Music relocated to Hamilton, NJ, which allowed the Russo Family to support more school programs and provide further services, such as music lessons and a more expansive storefront.
Russo Music has since developed a reputation for providing the highest quality band and orchestral instruments, service and repair to local students and professionals alike. With over 100,000 instruments rented out to local school districts to date, Russo Music continues to strive to further the original goals of Lucy and Steve to this day. We currently service over 20 school districts, consisting of 106 individual schools and 7 affiliate music stores throughout New Jersey & Pennsylvania. In addition to our Hamilton location, we also have a 2nd location in Asbury Park which opened in 2009.
While a lot has changed since Russo Music first opened its small shop in 1960, the Russo’s passion to foster opportunity through music has not. We are still a local music store; family owned and staffed with passionate musicians who are held together by their belief in what they do.