Native New Yorker Rachelle Garniez has been described as "a certified free spirit" (The New Yorker) and a "diva with a difference" (Billboard Magazine).
Multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter/composer, she was not formally educated in music, but was raised in a musical household by her mother, a classical pianist and music teacher who encouraged her to play by ear and also to experiment with all kinds of instruments and sounds. Her father, a professor of French literature from Belgium, introduced her to the joy of words and the advantages of learning to speak in a bilingual environment. At seventeen, she traveled around Europe with a guitar for a year, busking in Venice and making music with Gypsies in the south of Spain.
Upon returning to New York, Rachelle was hijacked by an accordion and spent several years playing on subway platforms and street corners of New York City, a training that served to develop immediate and direct connect with audiences of all ages and origins.
Performances are authentic, theatrical, spontaneous and fresh; stream-of-consciousness improvisations provide scope for the songs to evolve and develop continually as the spirit moves.
Her original lyrical and melodic story-songs have been described as "romantic, rhapsodic and casually hilarious" (The New York Times). Over the years she has played music in many bands of many kinds, including Rock, Blues, Tango, Country, Latin, Klezmer, Jazz and Tin Pan Alley classics. Her unique sense of song draws from all of these influences and "...wanders through genres, leaving behind nothing but sweet wreckage" (The New Yorker). bar-band roots to club-kid art-funk; samba fierce-showgirl revue to klezmer and old-time jazz, each of which have contributed significantly to her writing style.
She has released five CDs on her own label, Real Cool Records, and in 2009 recorded a vinyl single, My House of Peace, produced by Jack White and released on Third Man Records. A compilation album of songs, Greetings from Dreamsville, was released in Europe by JARO Records in 2012,
Other recording projects include KinderAngst, a collection of original punk rock children's songs, co-conceived, co-written and co-produced by Underground Garage Palmyra Delran, featuring Debby Harry.
Rachelle has performed/recorded with artists and bands including Hazmat Modine, the TED House Band led by Thomas Dolby, sonic wizard Sxip Shirey, neo-cabaret trouple The Citizens Band, violinst Jenny Scheinman, the Marvin Sewell Group, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Barone and many others.
Her songs have been recorded and performed by singers including acclaimed Jazz vocalist Catherine Russell, cabaret star Sven Ratzke, and pop singer Karen Elson.
In 2009 Rachelle composed the music for Taylor Mac's visionary Obie-Award-winning epic five-hour theater piece The Lily's Revenge, which was most recently presented in September 2012 by the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University in Cambridge, U.S.
Her new album, Who's Counting, will be released by Jaro in Europe on September 24th 2015, and by StorySound Records in the U.S. on the 13th of November.