Recognized as “one of the most promising young jazz vocalists of her generation,” 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 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 for upcoming vocalists. In partnership with the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, Rachel piloted the Columbus Youth Jazz Vocal Lab, a tuition-free program for middle and high school vocalists to explore their solo jazz voice and expanded upon this curriculum to include a weeklong summer camp, Camp Jazz. As a private vocal instructor, she has extensive experience teaching both contemporary and classical styles to middle, high school and college-aged students.
Rachel is a strong advocate for gender equality in jazz and is currently active in both the Women in Jazz Organization (WIJO) and the Women in Jazz Initiative (WIJI.) Originally from Columbus, OH, Rachel is currently residing in Denton, TX, where she is studying her masters in music in jazz studies at the esteemed University of North Texas under the direction of Jennifer Barnes and Rosana Eckert. There, she sings in the distinguished UNT Jazz Singers and serves as a teaching fellow for the vocal jazz area, teaching private lessons and courses in jazz studies. After graduate school, Rachel plans on receiving her doctorate in vocal jazz studies and uniting her passions of vocal jazz and mentorship of young female musicians. To learn more about Rachel’s upcoming performances, listen to her music or learn more about voice lessons, go to rachelazbell.com, or follow her on Instagram at @rachelazbellmusic.