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Rachelle Ferrell

Composer, lyricist, arranger, musician, and vocalist Rachelle Ferrell is a recent arrival on the contemporary jazz scene, but her visibility on the pop/urban contemporary scene has boosted her audience's interest in her jazz recordings.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Ferrell got started singing in the second grade at age six. This no doubt contributed to the eventual development of her startling six-and-change octave range. She decided early on, after classical training on violin, that she wanted to try to make her mark musically as an instrumentalist and songwriter. In her mid-teens, her father bought her a piano with the provision that she learn to play to a professional level. Within six months, Ferrell had secured her first professional gig as a pianist/singer. She began performing at 13 as a violinist, and in her mid-teens as a pianist and vocalist. At 18, she enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston to study composition and arranging, where her classmates included Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Donald Harrison, and Jeff Watts. She graduated in a year and taught music for a while with Dizzy Gillespie for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Through the '980s and into the early '90s, she'd worked with some of the top names in jazz, including Gillespie, Quincy Jones, George Benson, and George Duke.

Ferrell's debut, First Instrument, was released in 1990 in Japan only. Recorded with bassist Tyrone Brown, pianist Eddie Green, and drummer Doug Nally, an all-star cast of accompanists also left their mark on her record. They include trumpeter Terrence Blanchard, pianists Gil Goldstein and Michel Petrucciani, bassists Kenny Davis and Stanley Clarke, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and keyboardist Pete Levin. Her unique take on now-standards like Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love," and Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine," captured the hearts and souls of the Japanese jazz-buying public. In 1995, Blue Note/Capitol released her Japanese debut for U.S. audiences, and the response was similarly positive. Her 1992 self-titled U.S. debut, a more urban pop/contemporary album, was released on Capitol Records. Ferrell was signed to a unique two-label contract, recording pop and urban contemporary for Capitol Records and jazz music for Blue Note Records. For four consecutive years in the early '90s, Ferrell put in festival-stopping performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Although Ferrell has captured the jazz public's attention as a vocalist, she continues to compose and write songs on piano and violin. Ferrell's work ethic has paid off, and Gillespie's predictions about her becoming a "major force" in the jazz industry came true. Her prolific songwriting abilities and ability to accompany herself on piano seem only to further her natural talent as a vocalist.

"Some people sing songs like they wear clothing, they put it on and take it off," she explains in the biographical notes accompanying First Instrument. "But when one performs four sets a night, six nights a week, that experience affords you the opportunity to present the song from the inside out, to express its essence. In this way, a singer expresses the song in the spirit in which it was written. The songwriter translates emotion into words. The singer's job is to translate the words back into emotion."

Ferrell has made her mark not as a straight-ahead jazz singer and pianist, but as a crossover artist who is equally at home with urban contemporary pop, gospel, classical music, and jazz. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

starr6106
This is the s**t...
All her music. . you just cant imagine what I'm feeling right now listening to this...
This is one sister that really rocks...♡♡
I love to hear voice. Her voice put me in place where no one can touch me. All the pain or stress I might been going through just disappear. I will love to she her live.
millerida18
POWERFUL, PHENOMENAL, OUTRAGEOUSLY WONDERFUL ARTIST HER GIFT HAS TO BE ONE OF THIS TIME AND SEASON. HEARD A LOT OF ARTIST BUT , SHE IN A CLASS ALL BY HERSELF..... BEAUTIFUL
MS.RACHELLE FERRELL
nsullivan331 4
I just had the experience of hearing Rachelle Ferrell live in Rochester Ny. I walked away with a sense of being dumped in a vat of concentrated love, and stirred aggressively . I lost all sense of time. My worries for that night had dissolved, it left with the residue of joy.
She is one of the very few acutely talented vocalist
That voice is amazing gurl.
alleluiaamen
rachelle is by far my all time favorite singer! got to see her at kimbal's in berkeley, ca (emeryville) area. she sang her part AND will downing's part. AWESOME.
Saw her at Blue Note in NYC! She is pure perfection! Dynamic, sophisticate d , innovative and creative. Her scarring rivals Ella Fitzgerald, and her riffs and vocal acrobats rival seasoned gospel singers! She is awesome and in a class by herself.
WOW""""NICE
NICE""""WOW
Folks sleep on this lovely vocalist, LOVE HER! Real music!
andreanna.me t r u l a s
One of the Greatest Voices Ever, it is a shame she is not as well known , not only in R&B circles but beyond ...SO Very happy I found her ...a Treasure !! xoxo
I've just recently discovered this veteran of music and let me tell you. Her voice reaches the depths of my mind, my soul and my spirit. She is awesome and extremely talented. I'm a NEW FAN. (Where have I been?) Love her.
One of the best! She truly has a God given gift. Love her voice.
A true talent!. That voice is extremely underated in todays musical scene. You go Rachelle.... K u d o s ! ! !
Love her!!! What a voice!!!!!
Where is your next performance? I'm there!!!!!
lorysanclark
Angelic Voice!!!!! WOW
My god I go to a place within when I hear her voice me hanging onto every note is like a treat every time im only 30 but been a follower of her for 12 years awesome!!!
Awesome!
maritimeglob a l e n t e r p r i s e 1 9 7 2
When we are in favor to listen to greatness such as this you give thanks that she shares her great gift , I am pleased to say with honor that she gives me a way to enjoy music away from all the mainstream artists no disrespect but I love the mood of real soul driven music.
lorysanclark
OMG, Speechless!!
Masterful!!! ! ! ! ! !
To underrated! This woman had a natural, flawless voice that could range from tenor to coloratura soprano and people focus on that horse sounding Beyonce and that nasally Rihanna (no offense!) instead of such a jazzy, warm vocalist like Rachelle Ferrell. I recently discovered her about 1 month ago when I heard her sing With Open Arms and I've been in love with her ever since.
as in the biblical text for those who have a ear listen you will be rewarded extensively
flawless artist for mature listeners a must
pdsampsonjon e s
One of my favorite artist.
lyteme_2000
Rachelle has been my favorite singer/perfo r m e r since 1994. Finally saw her live in 2008 and I've seen her three more times since then. An amazing performer who captivates the audience while keeping us in the moment AND ensuring we anticipate the next note. Love her persona. Good, clean, pure love experience songs. If Chrisette Michele stays true to her genre she can continue to grow towards Rachelle's humble status as a singer's favorite singer. Love Whitney Houston, too, but she and Rachell
Beautiful Voice!!!
Magestical vocalization
I have always loved this song for as long as I can remember even since a child. But FERRELL does one of the best randitions of this beautiful song ,YEA YEA my gurl
As the young call me 50s old g She does it the way it should be done !
lorysanclark
Rachelle speaks to the heart and emotions!!!
Listening to Rachelle completely warms my heart, one of those effortless greats, just lovley
I love her! I think I may be crushing. On the organism vocal!!!!!!!
I saw Ms. Rachelle many times...neve r disappointed . Put chills on ya!!! Luvvvvvvv this CD. Keep it up Girrrlllll!
These two sound so great singing as a duet a great pair smooth and sinful
I totally agree with majonesings. . . a powerful mind makes powerful music. I saw her in concert many times and she is TOUGH!
Mindblowing talent.
majonesings
Simply the Best. Only those who have a ear for true music and the art. with in will understand
She shuld be named the voice.
zai_clay
hands down best singer ever
I saw her for the first time at a small casino in the San Francisco bay area, she was awesome, her piano player..a beautiful young up and coming start at the time introduced herself to me as Alicia Keys, and told me then to look out for her debut album. Awesome!
LOVE SOME RFERRELL, BABY GIRL YOU HAVE IT ALL
I SAW THIS LADY FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE BLUE NOTE IN NY. MAGNIFICENT! ! ! ! SHE EVEN SOUNDS BETTER IN PERSON, IT'S INCREDIBLE. BEST VOCALIST OF OUR TIME NOT WHITNEY HOUSTON. YEAH I SAID IT!!!! VERY UNDER RATED SINGER, IT SHOULD BE A CRIME. RACHELLE YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE MY SUPPORT!!!!
I absolutely LOVE this woman. What an awesome talent!
When she sings..I become emotional. HEr music plucks the strings of the soul....
What's goin on? My Rachelle Ferrell station isn't playing RACHELLE FERRELL!!! What's happening? It's been a week...
One of the most wonderful usage of a voice of all time
joplin.lisa
I just absolutely luv her. She is so awesome and God fearing
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