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Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Type: Improvisational Jazz: Mainstream Jazz

By Location
United States - Indiana

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Rachel Caswell

Jazz vocalist Rachel Caswell is best known for her improvisational prowess and her pinpoint accuracy of pitch and rhythm; however, audiences are increasingly drawn to her depth of delivery and interpretation of popular song. Her new CD "All I Know: Duets with Dave Stryker & Jeremy Allen" (2015) elicited the following response from jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan: “Rachel is a wonderful singer with a deep feeling and a fantastic improvisational talent complimented by a lovely rich sound” while one reviewer wrote, “…Caswell is a hugely memorable standout. She’s one worth a devoted following.” And in response to Rachel’s debut CD "Some Other Time" (2003) with Lynne Arriale, Kelly Sill, Steve Davis, and her sister, violinist Sara Caswell, internationally renowned jazz pedagogue David Baker said, “Rachel Caswell is that rara avis who is truly a jazz vocalist. Her intonation is impeccable, her diction precise, her jazz sensibilities above reproach, and she swings like mad!”

Rachel has performed at colleges, festivals, and a variety of venues nationwide. She and her sister Sara co-lead the Caswell Sisters Quintet and have made such notable appearances as a weeklong After-Hours engagement at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and an enthusiastically received set on the opening night concert of the 2010 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in St. Louis. Their debut Caswell Sisters album "Alive in the Singing Air" featuring jazz pianist Fred Hersch was released in early 2013 and has garnered numerous rave reviews. Other notables with whom Rachel has performed include The Glenn Miller Orchestra, John Blake, Jr., Ingrid Jensen, the Billy Taylor Trio, and Curtis Fuller.

In addition to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Rachel has appeared at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cornelia Street Café in New York, New York, ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, New York, and the Jazz Cabaret Series at the Kentucky Center of the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky. Appearances at colleges and universities include Temple University, University of Denver, Vassar College, Depauw University, Hope College, University of Evansville, Eastern Illinois University, West Virginia State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Indiana State University. She has also performed with big bands in Fargo, North Dakota, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and with jazz bands from Indiana University and Ball State University.
Rachel’s pedagogical experience includes jazz-related masterclasses and clinics at numerous colleges and universities nationwide, recently serving as a judge and clinician at the University of New Hampshire for the 2011 Clark Terry Jazz Festival and at Boise State University for the 2013 Boise State University Vocal Jazz Festival.

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Rachel’s compelling improvisation skills developed out of her many years of instrumental jazz studies on piano and as a cellist under IU Distinguished Professor David Baker. A student of Baker’s from age 13, Caswell continued her studies at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music on a full scholarship as a Wells Scholar, graduating with High Distinction in 1995 with degrees in classical cello and jazz studies. In 1998 she completed her Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies in Voice with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with Dominique Eade, Carol Sloane, Danilo Perez, George Garzone, and John McNeil.

While in graduate school, Rachel was chosen as one of two vocalists for the 1997 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen/Snowmass and was named the winner of the 1997 Hilton Head Jazz Society Scholarship. Rachel also placed in the top ten out of 150 contestants in the 2005 annual vocal competition, appearing in one judge’s top five. She has had coachings with Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, and Clark Terry and appears on Sara Caswell’s recordings First Song (Double-Time) and But Beautiful (Arbors).