Rachel Efron

Rachel Efron

BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

Rachel offers that rare combination of solid musicianship and sophisticated lyricism. In her words, her music is “about intimacy—and the ways we conceal and reveal ourselves to ourselves and each other.”

Biography

Rachel Efron unites a small-town upbringing and Harvard education with a poet’s sense of language and piano chops honed over years of study to create her distinctive and personal songs.

To listen to a Rachel Efron song is to be led across an inner landscape at once beautiful, dangerous, serene, and startling. Rachel offers that rare combination of solid musicianship and sophisticated lyricism. In her words, her music is “about intimacy — and the ways we conceal and reveal ourselves to ourselves and each other.” She is versed in jazz, folk, pop, and rock, and as she delves into her perspectives of life and love, she moves unabashedly from the sad and sweet to the saucy and swinging.

In 2006, she released her debut CD, “Say Goodbye,” a collection of 11 original piano/voice-centric alternative/pop songs. It was produced by Jon Evans (Tori Amos) on bass, Scott Amendola (Nels Cline, Madeleine Peyroux) on drums, and Julie Wolf (Ani Difranco) on accordion. The songs reveal the interplay of Efron’s impressionistic piano work and intimate voice with the alternately delicate and grooving accompaniment of an ensemble of remarkable musicians.

Efron’s musical journey began in a small town on the coast of Maine named Cape Elizabeth. As a girl, she
took piano lessons, learning the Beethoven sonatas, Debussy preludes, and Chopin etudes, which she claims as lifetime musical influences. In high school she was was drawn to such singer/songwriters as Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell. While pursuing a major in social anthropology at Harvard University, Rachel continued her music studies, venturing beyond her classical training with a weekly jazz piano class at the Berklee College of Music.
In her senior year at Harvard, Rachel started writing songs. “I had always written prose and poetry, and I was always playing piano,” she reflected. “When I first started writing songs, it was a project in the intersection of those two things, words and music, and I was positively alive with all of the possibilities that come with that.” Efron scoured the songbooks of Tom Waits, Beth Orton, and Aimee Mann, alongside her deepening engagement in jazz and the work of Billie Holiday, Dave McKenna, and Brad Mehldau. She developed a repertoire of original songs and started singing. Soon, she was gigging on campus and recorded a demo in a student-run studio.

After graduation, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a musical career. She performs as a solo act and as a combo with percussionist Jon Arkin and bassist Dan Feizsli. She has appeared at many Bay Area venues, including the Independent, Café Du Nord, Freight and Salvage, Red Devil Lounge, Hotel Utah, Anna’s Jazz Island, Downtown, and Mecca and has opened for such national acts as Universal/Decca artist Spencer Day and Atlantic artist Jill Sobule.

Since the release of “Say Goodbye,” Efron has continued to write songs, seeking to expand the range of her musicianship and lyricism. She is scheduled to start recording her second album in late 2007, again collaborating with producer Jon Evans.

Discography

Say Goodbye- 2006
Alexis Harte, Tumbling (Rachel plays piano on "Albany Hill")
Healing Sex: The Complete Guide to Sexual Wholeness, Staci Haines (Rachel's "Piano Instrumental" is part of the soundtrack)
Irina Rivkin, Upwelling (Rachel plays piano on "Little Silver Packets")