Rachelle Garniez is a songwriter, singer, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Born and raised on New York City’s 1970s culturally diverse Upper West Side by an American classical pianist and a European professor of French literature, Rachelle was exposed to a singular multiplicity of rich and multi-layered influences, from utopian collective free-schooling and Austrian Expressionism to the roller disco dancers and congueros of Central Park.
In 1982, at age 17, she left home and spent a year making her way around Europe. By default, she picked up a guitar and started playing folk songs on the streets of Venice and Avignon. She wound up on a beach in the south of Spain, where she was adopted by the local Gypsy flamenco singing champion and began to develop a commitment to the visceral and ephemeral mode of live music. After a year, she moved back to New York, gave away all her LPs and lived in a squat on 89th Street before eventually settling in the East Village and being hijacked by an accordion, an instrument that served to connect her with an infinitely expanding motherlode of multi-cultural music.
From her first adventures as a street musician and a fixture in the 80s New York boho scene, Rachelle went on to form a band (The Fortunate Few) and has released seven albums under her own name. In addition, Rachelle’s songs have been performed and recorded by jazz artist Catherine Russell, pop singer Karen Elson, and Ingrid Lucia (The Flying Neutrinos). Besides her her own work, Rachelle has performed and collaborated with Jack White, Suzzy Roche, Sven Ratzke, Palmyra Delran, Thomas Dolby’s TED House Band, beloved bar band Mumbo Gumbo, roots-world ensemble Hazmat Modine, and sonic sorcerer Sxip Shirey. Together with Terry Radigan and Amanda Homi, she is a member of VickiKristinaBarcelona Band, covering the Tom Waits catalog in three-part harmony.