RAVENSCROFT CONCERT SERIES – Rachel Eckroth
Polymath (noun): a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
Music needs a term for this. What do you call one person who is a pianist, vocalist, keyboardist, composer, producer, arranger, band leader, sideman and more? Music may not have a term, but it does have a name: Rachel Eckroth.
Eckroth can lead with a bold vision or accompany with the subtle skills necessary to make another musician shine. Her combination of jazz experimentation and pop feeling form the engine behind her own work as a leader or co-leader on 20 albums, most recently The Garden on Rainy Days Records (2021). Eckroth can hold an audience’s attention in an intimate jazz club or on a massive concert stage. She did the latter when she opened for Rufus Wainwright’s All These Poses anniversary tour, standing on stage alone with just her keyboards and her voice, weaving a sonic landscape that kept audiences enthralled. Eckroth is no stranger to television, either, having been a member of the house band on The Meredith Vieira Show and appearing on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Good Morning America with various artists.
Eckroth has been a busy recording artist throughout her career, and the pace has only increased in recent years. In 2020, Eckroth appeared on the single “Circling” by Donny McCaslin, the acclaimed saxophonist from David Bowie’s final band. That same year, she released three singles of her own. This year (2021) she and her husband, bassist Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, The Tedeschi Trucks Band) put out a duet album called The Blackbird Sessions Vol. 1. She also released the single “Moot Points” featuring Alassane, as well as an eponymous EP featuring four of her own songs.
Andrew Renfroe is a highly skilled jazz guitarist and composer hailing from Jupiter, Florida. With a background in prestigious music institutions and collaborations with renowned musicians, he has developed a unique sound and versatility, as showcased in his own projects that fuse diverse influences ranging from Delta Blues to West African music and even French compositions.
Billy Mohler is a versatile musician known for his prowess as a jazz bassist and his extensive work in the pop industry, collaborating with notable artists such as Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, and Sia. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a student at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Mohler has honed his skills under the tutelage of renowned musicians like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. His quartet, featuring acclaimed musicians Chris Speed, Shane Endsley, and Nate Wood, has released two albums characterized by their inventive, raw, and rhythmic compositions, with a third album set for release in 2023.
Tina Raymond, a drummer based in Los Angeles, has made a distinctive mark in the city’s contemporary improvised music scene by blending elements of traditional jazz, African polyrhythm, and classical percussion technique. With a wealth of experience performing alongside renowned jazz musicians, she also shares her expertise through workshops and adjudication worldwide. Raymond’s recordings can be found on various albums, including collaborations with Cathlene Pineda and Jon Armstrong, and she is set to release a trio record in the near future. In addition to her musical pursuits, she is a professor of music at Los Angeles City College and has endorsements from Sabian, Remo, and Regal Tip.
Together, Rachel Eckroth, Andrew Renfroe, Billy Mohler, and Tina Raymond bring their immense talents to the forefront, creating a collaborative masterpiece with their album ‘Humanoid.’ With their diverse backgrounds and exceptional skills, they showcase the true essence of musical innovation and creativity.