Rachelle Ferrell

Rachelle Ferrell

Ferrell in a performances on June 6, 2011
Background information
Born (1964-05-21) May 21, 1964
Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Genres R&B, Pop rock, jazz fusion, neo soul, pop, classical
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • pianist
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar
Years active 1974–current
Labels Blue Note, Capitol
Website RachelleFerrell.com

Rachelle Ferrell (born May 21, 1964, Berwyn, Pennsylvania) is an American vocalist and musician.[1] Although she has had some success in the mainstream R&B, pop, gospel, and classical music scene, she is noted for her talents as a contemporary jazz singer.


Ferrell began singing at age six, and developed a six octave range by adulthood.[1][2][3] Her range also includes the ability to sing in the whistle register.[2] Ferrell's highest notes in "It Only Took A Minute" (1992) have been described as "Minnie Riperton-like wailing."[2][4] She received classical training in violin and the piano at an early age and was performing professionally on both instruments and as a vocalist as a teenager. After enrolling in the Berklee College of Music, and graduating a year later, having learned arrangement and developing her abilities in singing and songwriting, she secured a position teaching music for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts alongside Dizzy Gillespie.[1]

From 1975 until 1990, Ferrell sang backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, and George Duke. Ferrell's debut, First Instrument, was released in 1990 in Japan, five years prior to its US release. Recorded with bassist Tyrone Brown, pianist Eddie Green and drummer Doug Nally, several famed jazz accompanists also recorded on her album. They include trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianists Gil Goldstein and Michel Petrucciani, bassists Kenny Davis and Stanley Clarke, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Pete Levin. Her take on standards like Sam Cooke's "You Send Me", Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?", and Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine", gained her a substantial Japanese jazz audience.[5]

In 2014, Rachelle Ferrell appeared on a new webseries called "Now What with Kevin E. Taylor," where she was the series season premiere. Ferrell decided, moved by Spirit, to sing her entire interview and at one point, she reduced the host to tears.



Year Album Peak positions Certifications
U.S. U.S.
1990 Somethin' Else
  • RIAA: N/A
1992 Rachelle Ferrell
  • 2nd studio album
  • Released: September 12, 1992
161 25
  • RIAA: Gold
1995 First Instrument
  • 3rd studio album
  • Released: April 4, 1995
151 2
  • RIAA: N/A
2000 Individuality (Can I Be Me?)
  • 4th studio album
  • Released: August 15, 2000
  • RIAA: N/A
2002 Live at Montreux 91–97 133 17 8
  • RIAA: N/A


Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. U.S.
Adult Contemporary
1992 "Til You Come Back to Me" 19 Rachelle Ferrell
1993 "Welcome To My Love" 42 25
"Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This" (featuring Will Downing) 52 72
"With Open Arms" 68
2000 "Satisfied" Individuality (Can I Be Me?)
2001 "I Can Explain"
"I Forgive You"


  1. 1 2 3 Skelly, Richard. Rachelle Ferrell at AllMusic. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Re: Rachelle Ferrell." www.rachelleferrell.com. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  3. Steyer, Justin, and Abe Beeson. "Rachelle Ferrell: Singing Her Way to a Higher Plane." www.kplu.org, December 2, 2013.
  4. Himes, Geoffrey. "Rachelle Ferrell". Amazon.com.
  5. Rachelle Ferrell at Blues Alley Jazz Supper Club
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