Promising young jazz vocalist, Rachel Azbell seeks to put her own stamp on the standards while paying homage to the inspiring women that have come before her. Her classic, sultry tone takes inspiration from jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. Initially, a classically trained pianist, Rachel fell in love with jazz at the age of 16 through her grandmother, who was a pianist and saxophonist. She is now a professional vocalist and a leader in vocal jazz education, striving to create cutting-edge opportunities and a renewed sense of community and educational opportunities for young vocalists.
Rachel performs regularly in the Columbus, Ohio area and has been seen with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the Pete Mills Quintet, the Bobby Floyd Trio, and with her own group, the Rachel Azbell Quintet at venues such as the Southern Theatre, the Lincoln Theatre, Natalie's Grandview, the Columbus Jazz & Ribs Fest, Becky's Barn, the Ginger Rabbit, Caffè Vivace and more.
As a private vocal instructor, Rachel has extensive experience teaching contemporary commercial music styles to middle, high school and college-aged students. In December 2021, Rachel received her Masters in Music in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, under the direction of Jennifer Barnes and Rosana Eckert. There, she sang in the distinguished UNT Jazz Singers and served as a teaching fellow for the vocal jazz area, teaching private lessons and courses in jazz studies. Rachel has taken additional coursework through Shenandoah Conservatory's CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute, which focuses on evidence-based functional training in all CCM styles. Rachel is passionate about the accessibility of high quality CCM vocal training for students of all ages.
Rachel is currently residing in Columbus, Ohio where she serves as Education Program Manager at Jazz Arts Group. In this role, Rachel manages several education programs, including the Columbus Youth Jazz (CYJ) Program, the CYJ Girls Project, the CYJ Vocal Lab, the Jazz Academy Adult Vocal Workshop and more in addition to creating new initiatives in the Jazz Academy. She also is an adjunct commercial voice instructor at Otterbein University, where she teaches applied voice lessons in commercial music styles.