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bio

Nickname = Yams

Her ‘troubadour of heartbreak’ songs are tonic for anyone who’s been run over by love.

She named her indie label after a walking fish.

Home is a cabin in the woods. She’s very good at yard work.

Favorite college course – Sociology of the Criminal Mind

Rufus Wainwright. Tom Waits. Rickie Lee Jones. Roberta Flack. Bonnie Raitt. Led Zeppelin. Cat Stevens. Stevie Wonder. Carole King. Feist. Kanye West.

Jaws vs. The Way We Were = tie.

Good with cats. Bad with plants.

Japanese. German. Italian.

NY, Philly, D.C., Chicago and Venice Beach have all been home.

Early riser between 4 and 6am

Home Depot over shoe shopping

Hates the phone, but enjoys spreadsheets.

Stage fraught, but you’d never know it.

Once wore plastic bath mat flowers in her hair for a show at Madison Square Garden.

Celebrity crush = Bill Pullman

Favorite New Years – solo trip to the Dominican Republic (on an animal farm)...(the whole trip was not on an animal farm – just that night)

Once run down by a bull.

Videos – trapped in a glass box/ wandering a burned down hotel/ hanging out on a wasp infested boat/ as a bunny (in full bunny attire)

Dream video – shark tank
Believes in love, loyalty and the lingering magic of music. 

 

A MORE TRADITIONAL TAKE (written by Susan Jacobs)

"Finally the heir to Bonnie Raitt.” - Ann Powers, NPR Music

 

"Restoring female pop's good name." - Philadelphia Inquirer

 

Rachael’s voice is so soulful that it could inspire a tiger to chuff, an elephant to trumpet and whales to sing.” – Gregory Colbert

 

Rachael Yamagata is not your ordinary singer/songwriter.  Yes, she has released numerous albums; had record label deals; toured the world multiple times with sell-out concerts; built a loyal and ever-growing fan base; earned her place as a media ‘darling’; made appearances on Jay Leno, Conan O’Brian, Carson Daly, 30 Rock, One Life to Live and The O.C.; been an NPR profiled artist; made a cameo appearance as herself in Sony Pictures To Write Love on Her Arms; had song placements in hit TV shows including NCIS: New Orleans, Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Alias, How I Met Your Mother, and in and Hollywood moviesincluding Hope Springs, Prime, Monster-in-Law, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; been nominated Best Female Vocal by the Chicago Music Awards (2012); opened for artists including Patti Smith, David Gray, and Pete Townsend; and performed at venues including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, SXSW, Austin City Limits, Glastonbury, and Bonnaroo.

 

But there’s so much more...

 

Rachael has performed with Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow at Senator Harry Reid’s 2008 fundraiser for President Obama; at the White House Cherry Blossom Festival for First Lady Michelle Obama; twice at Deepak Chopra’s ‘Sages and Scientists’ Symposium; as part of the R.E.M. tribute concert; with Steve Earle and Allen Toussaint for the Woodie Guthrie tribute; collaborated with artists including Toots and the Maytals, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Conor Oberst, Jason Mraz, and Katherine McPhee; and Australia’s The Voice winner Karise Eden reached #1 with Rachael’s song ‘You Won’t Let Me.’  She’s toured with many of said artists as well as The Swell Season, Sara Bareilles, Amos Lee, Liz Phair, and more.  Rachael was invited by the White House to take part in its Official White House ‘Tweet Up’ in the West Wing with fans, and was one of Chopra’s music playlist selections featured on Oprah Winfrey’s website.

 

Artist/filmmaker/photographer Gregory Colbert, best known for his acclaimed project “Ashes and Snow” which, to date, is the most attended solo exhibition by any living artist in history, asked Rachael to be a guest vocalist on his upcoming project.

 

Rachael and John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood) covered director Robert Altman song ‘Let’s Begin Again’ featured in the opening scene and end credits of the documentary, Altman (2014). Medeski said, “Rachael blew my mind with her performance. She’s a natural jazz singer.”

 

Fans span the spectrum from 14-year-old girls to 65-year-old men, from spiritual healers, helicopter pilots, and military women, to hostage negotiators, heads of television networks, and single mothers.  Rachael continually hears from fans that her music helped them through something in their life.  Famed Korean photographer Jungman Kim calls Rachael ‘his muse’ and writer/journalist/ broadcaster Katherine Lanpher cites Rachael as the only twice invited guest of the Barnes & Nobel series, “Upstairs at the Square” (with novelist Alaa-Al-Aswany, “The Yacoubian Building” and Bill Clegg, “Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man” and “90 Days”).

 

On the business front, Rachael was a guest speaker at 2013 Chicago Ideas Week, and profiled in two separate Topspin Berklee School of Music marketing classes with her Pledge Music DIY campaigns being used as part of the course curriculum.

 

Rachael breaks the mold of the singer/songwriter stereotype, and the DIY indie-artist model as, for the past four years she has be working without management representation.

 

CD releases to date include Heavyweight EP (2012), Noisetrade Mixtape (2012), Chesapeake (2011), Elephants (2008), Loose Ends EP (2007), Live at the Loft (2005), Happenstance (2004),and Rachael Yamagata: EP (2001).

 

Her latest album, currently titled ‘Tightrope Walker,’ is slated for a fall 2015 release.  It showcases her calling card ability to articulate humanity’s struggles within relationships and the freedom that comes from celebrating that which we face alone and head on.  The production is riskier and cinematic – think Tom Waits meets Roberta Flack, Nick Cave hanging with Rufus Wainwright.  Rachael confounds a labeled genre and instead embraces the production that serves the story.  The paradox of her art mirrors that of her career and proves that we are never simplistic, but always full of surprises.