Rachel Lauren Udall was born to sing. After making her stage debut in musical theater at the age of five, she excitedly exclaimed to her mother, “Do you mean I can do this for the rest of my life?” At the age of 15, after more than 25 musical theater productions, Rachel discovered Jazz. She recently graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music as a Music Industry and Jazz major. On the honors list all four years, Rachel was also the recipient of the prestigious Lamont Dozier Scholar award her Junior year. Rachel continues to self-manage her career as a performer, run her own record company, volunteer weekly and direct new business development at Inspire Entertainment in Los Angeles, CA.
“Rachel Lauren is at the beginning of her career but already has a mature voice, sensitivity to lyrics and the ability to make vintage standards sound worth hearing again… She has a very attractive voice and improvises well, particularly for her age..”
Scott Yanow – LA Jazz Scene
“Rachel Lauren Udall is setting a new standard in modern jazz. Rachel's ability to channel the spirit of great singers from an era long since gone, merged with her intuitive gift and youthful sensibilities bring us something fresh, yet completely familiar. In an age where computers help correct pitch, time and phrasing, Rachel's vocals are untouched. Her live performances are as stunning as her studio recordings. It's rare and refreshing for a producer to have a chance to work with such a talented young artist. Rachel's future burns bright and her timeless style ensures that her music will be here to stay.”
Chris Camozzi – Producer
“We were thrilled with Rachel’s performance at our event. She has an unbelievable voice, and even better, knows how to use it! The sophistication and style she brings to her performance is fresh, yet reminiscent of Diana Krall. I think she's immensely talented.”
Allison Simpson – Director, Public Relations, Beringer Vineyards
“Jazz standards and their indelible style will always remain, the question is where. Will they continue their downward decline out of the public eye and into nothing but historical record? Or will they witness some sort of resurrection and have their beauty launched back into the pop realm? If the answer is to be the latter option, then consider Rachel Lauren the slingshot.”
Omnivore’s Delight with AidanR
Singing classic jazz standards fueled by raw emotion and an innovative style, Rachel Lauren is an artist who will not only delight your ear, but revive your spirit. One can hardly imagine she’s just 21! Rachel’s ability to appeal to fans in her own age range all the way up to long time jazz listeners sets her apart from other young artists. With the self release of her first album away from the crowd, Rachel has succeeded in stepping away from the anonymity of the larger music scene and into a spotlight of her very own.
As a vocal stylist, Rachel pays homage to the music that created jazz, flavoring it with original emotional expression. “Its not about how many notes or beats you have,” says Rachel, “If you have people feeling something, feeling what you are feeling, that’s what jazz is about.” Rachel infuses this mantra into jazz standards, reviving vintage tunes with an emotional interpretation of her own.
With her sultry and mature tone Rachel accepts the challenge of making an old song feel new, giving an enchanted twist to words that have been performed by generations of jazz artists before her. As a young person, Rachel brings pop and rock influences like Stevie Wonder, and casts them into a jazz mold, thus creating a sound that is both familiar and fresh.
According to Rachel, this “freshness” is what she strives for to make her music different from her contemporaries. In away from the crowd Rachel accepts the challenge of a traditional vocal stylist by presenting a collection of jazz classics, but expressed as a new emotional encounter. In her album, Rachel not only respects the great heritage of jazz music, but participates in it as well.
Accomplishments and Performance Experience:
• Featured Performer, November 2010 The Blue Whale Los Angeles ,CA
• Featured Performer, September 2010 two night residency at L’Ermitage Hotel, Beverly Hills CA
• Featured Performer, July 2010 Opening of the USC Student Union Gala
• Featured Performer, May 2010 Month long residency, Tates Craft Cocktails, Winston Salem NC
• Album Release, May 2010 “Familiar”
• Featured Performer, July 2009 The Ranch Club at Santa Lucia Preserve, Carmel CA
• Featured Performer, May 2009 USC Alumni Awards
• Featured Performer, May 2009 Motorola Sales retreat
• Featured Performer, April 2009 USC Viterbi Engineering Awards
• Featured Performer, May 2008 Union Street Festival –San Francisco
• Featured performer, April 2008 UNC Jazz Festival
• Featured performer, March 2008 USC Trustees Retreat
• Featured performer, Dec 2007 opened the Carlsbad City Library Jazz Series
• Award recipient, Dec 2007 Lamont Dozier Scholar, USC Charles Dickens Dinner
• Featured performer, Nov 2007 South Carolina museum of the arts
• Featured performer, Oct 2007 USC Global Conference in Japan
• Featured performer, July 2007 Fillmore Jazz Festival
• Album release, May 2007: Away From the Crowd
• Featured performer, Soka University, January 26th, 2007- also featuring Mike Garson trio with Peter Erskine and Dave Carpenter
• Featured performer, NAMM 2007 for Kurzweil, January 20th, 2007- also featuring Mike Garson trio with Joe La Barbara and Derek Oles
• Featured performer, Carlesbad City Library Winter Jazz Series, January 14th, 2007- also featuring pianist Mike Garson
• Guest performer, GRAMMY Foundation benefit concert, A Starry Night, Villa Casablanca, Malibu, July 22, 2006
• Counselor, GRAMMY Camp 2006
• Featured performer at the Napa Wine Auction with Jay Leno, Meadowood Country Club, June 5, 2005
• Featured entertainer – Menlo Country Club, April 9, 2005
• Guest performer on The Late Show with David Letterman, February 2, 2005
• Member of 2005 Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Ensemble
• Released self titled CD – August 2004 – Chris Camozzi, Producer
• Awarded a full scholarship – Berklee College of Music –– Summer 2004 Performance Program
• Featured entertainer for the Redwood City Summer Music Series – 2002, 2003 and 2004
• Featured entertainer – Napa Valley Wine Auction dinner at Beringer’s Winery, June 3, 2004
• Opening performances – for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Fall 2003 National Tour
• Performed every Friday and Saturday evening April 2003-Aug. 2005 at Maggiano's Little Italy, Santana Row, San Jose, CA
• Featured artist – Lafayette Jazz Festival, Lafayette, CA, March 12, 2004
• Outstanding Jazz Soloist – Smith Dobson Youth Jazz Competition, March 27, 2003
• Released new single 2/12/03 - “Miracle Of My Life”, written and produced by Robert Berry
• Featured artist on the 2003 Santa Clara County Walk for AIDS CD
• Featured entertainer – Make-A-Wish benefit concert at Santana Row on July 13, 2003
• Featured entertainer – “I AM” benefit concert for Kaitlyn Langstaff, March 1, 2003
• Performed professionally at Santana Row, San Jose, CA and the Cats restaurant, Los Gatos, CA, November 2002 – April 2003
• Featured entertainer, 1997 – NFL great Ronnie Lott's annual charity event, the USO's historic black tie event marking their return to San Francisco, and the annual CEO Forum on Sustainable Business
• Sang the National Anthem for many well-known sports teams including the San Francisco Giants, San Jose CyberRays, and the San Jose Lasers.
Rachel Lauren- Vocals
If Ever - Full Album 2013
Away From The Crowd - Full Album 2007
Familiar- EP 2010
Rachel Lauren Away From the Crowd
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Rachel Lauren is at the beginning of her career but already has a mature voice, sensitivity to lyric...Rachel Lauren is at the beginning of her career but already has a mature voice, sensitivity to lyrics and the ability to make vintage standards sound worth hearing again. She made her stage debut in musical theater when she was five, appeared in a couple of dozen shows, and discovered jazz when she was 14. Now 21, the USC student has her debut recording out on her own new label. Joined by guitarist Ross Grant, bassist Daniel Fabricant, drummer Brian Carmody and tenor-saxophonist Kirk Hamilton, Ms. Lauren performs ten familiar standards including “You Stepped Out Of A Dream,” “Solitude,” “The Shadow Of Your Smile” and “Caravan.” She has a very attractive voice and improvises well, particularly for her age. The material could be fresher but this is an excellent start and she certainly has plenty of potential. She clearly has a lot of talent and Away From The Crowd (available from www.rachellauren.com) is a very good first step for Rachel Lauren"
- Scott Yanow
Omnivore’s Delight 9: Rachel Lauren
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“Its not about how many notes or beats you have. If you have people feeling something, feeling what ...“Its not about how many notes or beats you have. If you have people feeling something, feeling what you are feeling, that’s what jazz is about.” – Rachel Lauren
Jazz standards and their indelible style will always remain, the question is where. Will they continue their downward decline out of the public eye and into nothing but historical record? Or will they witness some sort of resurrection and have their beauty launched back into the pop realm? If the answer is to be the latter option, then consider Rachel Lauren the slingshot.
A beautiful, 21-year-old slingshot that is. Judging by her looks one might assume she’s another twenty-something pop starlet singing vocals doctored with auto tune supported by an ensemble composed of digital loops. Think again, my friend. Singing jazz standards originally recorded many decades before she was born, Ms. Lauren and her ensemble inject a modern vibe so refreshing that the tunes would be nearly unrecognizable if it weren’t for their titles. Though originally recorded by Julie London in 1955 without percussion, Lauren’s “Cry Me a River” is full of catchy guitar riffs spread over a Latin groove. Check out the video for “Cry Me a River” here. Originally a show tune from Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, Lauren’s rendition of the famously mocking “My Funny Valentine” features a wah-ing guitar at a slow and sultry tempo. Similarly to the original, the sound of this tune is completely serious until the lyrics make their entrance.
There’s no doubt that Rachel is fantastically talented, but whether or not she can do something to revive the nearly lost art form to remains unseen. Her performance and awards résumé make up nearly half of her profile page, but the majority of attendees at these events are the usual suspects: elderly jazz enthusiasts at black tie functions. Should she make the conscious decision to step foot inside the mainstream music bubble with some material bridging the jazz-pop gap, she’s well equipped and probably has more support from pop music fans than one would assume.
MySpace brims with Halloween treats
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RACHEL LAUREN Silky San Jose jazz vocalist Rachel Lauren adds a contemporary sensibility to classic...RACHEL LAUREN
Silky San Jose jazz vocalist Rachel Lauren adds a contemporary sensibility to classic tunes like "My Funny Valentine" and "Cry Me a River," two stunners from her debut CD, "away from the crowd." The softly swinging "Whisper Not" is another gem. A University of Southern California music industry major, Lauren displays a rare degree of sophistication. She played the Fillmore jazz festival this summer.
Jazz Artist, Vocalist Rachel Lauren, Honored with Lamont Dozier Scholarship At USC’S 21st Annual Charles Dickens Event
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Vocalist Rachel Lauren was awarded USC’s Thorton School of Music Legacy Award: The Lamont Dozier Sch...Vocalist Rachel Lauren was awarded USC’s Thorton School of Music Legacy Award: The Lamont Dozier Scholarship. This honor for accomplishments in the field of music is designated to the USC student who demonstrates exceptional talent while maintaining the highest academic standard throughout their University years. For 21 years, Legacy Award Scholarships have honored talent including Ella Fitzgerald, Herb Albert, and Burt Bacharach. The 2007 Legacy Award was given to Lamont Dozier, one of America’s top composers. Mr. Dozier has created over 54 timeless hits that topped the charts for the Supremes, the Four Tops, and Marvin Gaye and has penned such classics as “Baby I Need Your Loving”, “Baby Love”, “Stop In the Name of Love” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”.
Rachel Lauren is a junior in the esteemed Music Industry Program at the University of Southern California. Ms Lauren is a native of San Jose, CA where she was graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School before attending University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Ms Lauren performs classic jazz standards and brings her own unique and innovative style to her unforgettable performances.
Lauren’s first album, ‘away from the crowd’ released in mid 2007 won critical acclaim and there’s another in the works. Rachel Lauren is a featured performer in the Southern California area and has held the spotlight on international stages in Japan, and ___.
“Meeting Lamont Dozier and his family and sitting with them during dinner was one of the most exciting moments of my career. Then performing a medley of his classics “Goin’ Back to My Roots”, “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Heatwave”, was an honor!” says Ms. Lauren.
The night was magical for all attending the gala, and it was difficult to sit still with familiar favorites –one after the other being performed. The crowd was treated to a rare moment when Lamont Dozier took the mike and sang his cross generation crowd pleasers, the gold in the fabric of collective memories, “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”, “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You” and “Stop In the Name of Love”. The excitement peaked again with special guest James Ingram singing.
McCurdy does Gershwin proud
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It’s the phrasing and jubilant tempo-shifting that allowed the Ron McCurdy Quartet’s performance of ...It’s the phrasing and jubilant tempo-shifting that allowed the Ron McCurdy Quartet’s performance of “The Love Songs of Gershwin” to be more than just a Gershwin symposium.
McCurdy, who presented a sterling performance of “The Langston Hughes Project (Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz)” at the Columbia Museum of Art in April, returned Nov. 29 for the Gershwin premiere.
“Our Love is Here to Stay” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” two Gershwin standards, were given hard-bopping, riverboat rumbles. The quartet took the theatrical sheen off the love songs, rendering them as contemporary, though with a city-as-spirit feel.
McCurdy, who sang, recited and played trumpet in his April show, left the singing to Rachel Lauren this time. She channels soul ghosts like, say, Amy Winehouse, which is to say, her vocal flurries come from her gut. Her version of “Summertime” was graceful.
Especially entertaining was “My Man is Gone,” which began at a chompy, piano-driven pace before sliding after a few bars into something less muscular. The pace then increased, only to yield to another harmonic, full-band slide. The frequent tempo-shifting kept the music giddy.
McCurdy’s bandmates, Tim Archer (bass), Brian Carmody (drums) and Hiroe Sekine (piano), were poised for the sweetly jostled arrangements.
The Gershwin show, while extremely pleasant, was merely a solid performance compared to “The Langston Hughes Project,” which was majestic performance art, something one would expect to see at Spoleto in Charleston.
The museum’s crowd was older (it was good there was an attentive audience at all), but the lack of youth was disheartening. The MP3 generation shouldn’t forget the greats — and those who interpret and expand on great creations.
“Everyone loves Gershwin, don’t they,” McCurdy rhetorically asked the audience.
When presented like this, what’s not to love?
I can put together up to four 45 minute sets