Newly Brooklyn-based, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, Rachel Therrien already boasts an enviable CV. Known for her very personal signature, she has developed a reputation as a highly-skilled, versatile and creative artist. Winner of the 2015 TD Grand Prize Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the 2016 Stingray Jazz Rising Star Award, where she presented her second album Home Inspiration, “an emotionally charged show filled improv and exceptional musical orchestration” -FIJM. Therrien just launched “Pensamiento” her new afro-colombian inspired jazz album recorded with 12 musicians in Bogota, Colombia, and she’s starting the production of a third album with her Montreal Quitet.
Native of Rimouski (eastern Quebec, Canada), Rachel is considered one of the most promising jazz musicians in the Québec music scene, playing in a variety of music styles and enriching her talent through experiences from many different cultures. She has shared stages in clubs and concerts all around North and South America as well as the Caribbean with such world-class musicians as Bryan Lynch, David Buchbinder, Pedrito Martinez, Julie Lamontagne, Frédéric Alarie, Tylor Mitchel, Benito Gonzales, Vic Vogel, Yacouba Sissoko, Geraldo Piloto, Achilles Liarmakopoulos, Michel Legrand, Carole Welsman, Alex Bellegarde, and great music groups as Nomadic Massive, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Wesli Band, The Franklin Electric, Skah Shah, Klimax, Orquesta Anacaona. She also worked for Canadian TV Show “Belle et Bum” which lead her to share the stage with great artist such as Marie-Josée Lord, Alex Nevsky, Mara Tremblay, Daniel Boucher, Stéphanie Bédard, Lisa Leblanc, Joseph Edgar, and New York based famous folk singer Joseph Arthur.
Therrien holds a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from University of Montreal, a degree in arts management and a certificate from Instituto Supérior de Arte, in Havana-Cuba, where she studied classical trumpet, latin jazz, percussion and Cuban music history. She was also selected to participate in 2012, at the Banff Center Jazz and Creative Music workshop held by Dave Douglas and Vdjay Iyer. She has worked with large number of mentors and teachers including Ron DiLauro, Elpidio Chappotin, Laurie Frink, John McNeil, Yasek Manzano, Jonathan Finlayson, Clarence Penn, Michael Rodrigues, Aeoife O’Donnovan, Dave Douglass, Ralph Alessi, Emilio del Monte, George Rubio, and many more.
As a band leader, Rachel runs distinct artistic projects. In 2010, Rachel started her own Quintet with some of the best jazz players from Montreal. (Simon Page on bass, Charles Trudel on Piano, Alain Bourgeois on drums and Benjamin Deschamps on sax.) Her debut album, “On Track” released independently in 2011 got great reviews in the Quebec press, and stood as #1 on “Radio Canada-Espace Musique” chart for more than a week. They also had the opportunity to play at Havana Jazz-Plaza Festival. Since the release of her second album, “Home Inspiration” (2014), on the artist-managed new record label, Multiple Chord Music, she has toured as a band leader in Mid-Ouest USA, Mid-Canada (Ontario), and New York City, in a list of clubs and Festivals including “55Bar (NYC), Andy’s Jazz Club (Chicago), The Rex (Toronto), The Jazz Room (Waterloo), and Upstairs (Montreal). She played to sold out and near-sold out crowds, and has made many new friends and fans along the way. This year, she will be touring in the US, releasing her new afro-colombian inspired jazz album, “Pensamiento”, that was recorded in Bogota, Colombia, in 2014. She will start the production of a third record with her Montreal Quintet, thanks to the TD Grand Prize Jazz Award.
As well as being recognized as an artist that can’t be ignored, Rachel is also a key player on the Montreal Jazz scene, helping it to grow and expand its frontiers by being an example for emerging musicians and actively working for the jazz community. In 2013, she founded the Montreal Jazz Composers Series, bringing more than 200 musician-composers from Canada and the US to showcase their original music and play together for the first time in front of crowd of mainly young non-musicians during Montreal Int’l Jazz Festival. She believes that “Jazz is a philosophy of conversation between musicians from different backgrounds through improvisation, and that we, as musicians, it is our mission to keep jazz alive and to make sure that our generation of non-musicians live the experience and appreciate that unspoken language.”