Talking about Raquel Cepeda is talking about a multi-talented woman. Raquel is a Geologist and Jazz Vocalist, and also practices other forms of art, including visual arts, writing, and dance.
“Some gifts we share and benefit a few. Some gifts have the power of benefiting many.” This is the motto by which Raquel Cepeda lives, a sentiment that finds her, after a long career as a full-time geologist, striking even more valuable prospects by following one of her innermost passions: singing. Born in Venezuela and trained in the sciences, it was during her engineering days at college that she began earning a reputation on campus as a singer of distinction. After making her recorded debut in 2001 with a host of other singers and musicians from her homeland, in 2013 she worked with famed producer Paul English to craft her solo debut, I’m Confessin’. This self-proclaimed “work of heart” was an artistic leap of intuition, a foray into emotional depths that highlighted her multicultural persona. She is now based in Houston, where since 2011 she has become an in-demand fixture among local musicians and events. After working for 15 years in the oil industry and maintaining parallel careers in music and science, in 2015 Raquel decided to take the leap as a full-time artist. Whether singing a standard or crafting an original tune, she embodies an unerring sense of purpose in every song she touches. Listening to Raquel sing, one can hear the tactile joy in her voice, the welcoming passion she brings to the music. She invites us, all the while holding true to the inexplicable spirit that moves her, and which is sure to move you in kind. Raquel is a living affirmation that sometimes the greatest art comes without a roadmap—as if from a higher place—and that sometimes we must give in to the inevitable and accept what we were born to do. Accepting her gifts for what they are, if only for a fleeting moment of shared humanity, makes it all worthwhile, for Raquel pulls back the curtain of our day-to-day lives and reveals the wealth of experiences waiting for us all backstage. Her voice is a blessing shared with the world, and the world is that much better for having received it. -By Tyran Grillo, 2015