Rachel Bade-McMurphy is a vocalist, saxophonist, and composer who invites listeners into a world inhabited by individual experience. Her bold lyrical content uses varying perspectives and explores moods from hope and beauty to humor, irony and longing. Her styling combines a traditional vocal delivery with the rhythmic and harmonic turbulence of instrumental jazz music fringed with elements of popular genres.
Influenced by such instrumental artists as John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill, and Woody Shaw to name a few as well as vocal artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday, and Nancy Wilson (among others), her style is progressive and unique with a strong melodic character. Her popular influences range from country, classic rock, southern rock, folk, hard rock, soul, classic R&B, funk, and other forms of traditional pop.
Raised in Eastern Washington and largely self-taught, her success has been driven by her tenacious personality and love of music. She attended Washington State University as a classical clarinetist where she struggled personally and artistically. Encouraged by WSU faculty member Horace Alexander Young to attempt small group combo performance, she began to develop her confidence and find her voice. Rachel was awarded ‘outstanding college vocal soprano soloist’ at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in 2003 and 2004 and was chosen to participate in the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) Sisters in Jazz mentor program