Discovering a natural talent for singing at a young age Rachel Jenkins grew up around the vocal and choir groups of South East London, where she still lives to date. Rachel really has the power to move audiences with one of the most expressive and soothing voices on the scene today. The renowned Jazz singer Sheila Jordan has described Rachel’s vocal as ‘’A very natural, soulful sound, beautiful, really beautiful’’.
Rachel has studied drama, piano, Jazz singing, music technology and music composition at Morley College and has completed several Jazz singing courses with Anita Wardell and Sheila Jordan. She also spent several years studying music theory with Jazz musician Claude Alexander, to whom she credits for opening the floodgates to a wealth of jazz influences including Betty Carter, Chet Baker, Lester Young and John Coltrane. Rachel’s other important musical influences include Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, Elton John, Roberta Flack, Joan Armatrading, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
Rachel has been performing live for eight years, from simple duos to seven piece bands, in many renowned and prestigious venues such as The Dorchester, Claridges, The Ivy restaurant, London Hilton, The Hampton Court Flower Show, Vortex Jazz Bar, Floridita and The Hideaway. She has been privileged to work with some world class musicians such as Nigel Price and Cameron Pierre and she has built up an extensive jazz and soul repertoire.
Whilst gaining a firm foundation in jazz singing Rachel’s versatility is no more apparent than in her collaboration with electronic artist, radio producer and DJ Bruno Lawton. Together they are Digital Strut and are nearing the completion of their first album. This partnership is deeply connected to Rachel’s love of alternative, dub, ambient, acid jazz music groups such as Zero 7 and Massive Attack and a long love of House music, be it deep, progressive, soulful or funky.
Rachel is now working with Donny Marchand, a writer, producer and recording artist originally from the streets of New York, he now lives in London. Having been in the music biz for some forty years he has written songs for musicals and artists such as Roger Daltrey, Eddie Floyd, Peaches and Herb, Bill Haley and the Comets, Shakin’Stevens, and Prelude. Together Rachel and Donny have been recording songs for use on film and TV.
The female party duo Sax Singer was formed by Rachel with saxophonist Katy Jungmann. They specialise in jazz, soul and Motown performing at private and corporate events. Along similar lines Rachel more recently formed the Purple Park Trio with guitarist Peter Duncan and Saxophonist Rufai Ajala. They write some original songs whilst also rendering existing old and contemporary songs with interesting arrangements, making them their own.