Rebecca Shrimpton

Rebecca Shrimpton, acclaimed for her rare melding of a highly eclectic approach with a sumptuous and agile voice, is an assistant professor of voice at Berklee College of Music. She is a vocalist for Boston's 19-piece Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, with whom she has recorded eight CDs, including Why Do You Ride?, named to DownBeat Magazine's best of 2015 list. She also is a vocalist for OddSong, whose debut recording, Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks, was on Cadence Magazine's top 10 list for 2016. Shrimpton has performed with Norm Zocher's Electric Strings Band, the progressive rock band David Zoffer Differential, and was a guest artist with the ensemble Tapestry.

Shrimpton received international praise in 2005 for her solo CD, Madman's Moon. Her 2009 release, Requited, featured songs by best-selling novelist Anita Diamant (The Red Tent), pianist Bert Seager, and a brilliant band, featuring Rick DiMuzio (tenor saxophone), Jorge Roeder (bass), and Richie Barshay (drums).

Shrimpton, who composes and arranges for her jazz ensembles, recently expanded her writing to the theater. She has been music director for three productions by the Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe, composing original scores, including eight songs using Shakespeare's lyrics from The Tempest. Her current project is a musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

She has performed at Cornelia Street Cafe and Somethin' Jazz Club in New York, New York; Regattabar, House of Blues, Ryles Jazz Club, the Beehive, Jordan Hall, and Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts; and the exquisite Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. She also was featured on two PBS/NPR concert broadcasts and recordings, performing with singer/actor Theodore Bikel.

Shrimpton has taught voice for nearly 20 years, including at New England Conservatory Preparatory, Longy School of Music, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Career Highlights
    • Performances and recordings with Steve Lacy, Joe Lovano, Oliver Lake, George Russell, Ran Blake, George Lewis, Fred Ho, and blues organist Mike Finnigan (from Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland)
    • Vocalist for 19-piece Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra since 1999, recording eight CDs
    • Recordings received excellent reviews and named to best-of lists in DownBeat Magazine, All About Jazz, AllMusic, and Jazz Times Magazine
    • Career and training focus on jazz and classical music, with eclectic performance experience in rock fusion, western swing, progressive rock, gospel, Appalachian folk, klezmer, opera, and medieval classical
    • Recordings include, Red Sea, JCA Orchestra, lead singer/co-composer (2017);  Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks, Oddsong (2016); Why Do You Ride?, Darrell Katz & JCA Orchestra (2015); Requited (2009); Madman's Moon, leader/composer (2005)
    • Private lessons with Dominique Eade, John McNeil, Alice Duschak, Sheila Jordan, and Mark Murphy
  • Education
    • M.M., New England Conservatory
    • M.A., Miami University
    • B.A., Union College

In Their Own Words

"New students often ask me what style of music is right for their voice. I tell them they should be asking a different question: What music do you absolutely love? What music moves you and fills you with joy and the passion to create? What do you care deeply enough about to sustain you through the challenges of a career in music? Now ... what do you need to learn in order to make that music? Find your passions—whether they’re singular or expansive—then build the skills and the instrument to pursue them."

"All singers carry a single, miraculous instrument of incredible flexibility and limitless colors, which we will spend a lifetime exploring and learning to play. This endlessly varied and magnificently expressive instrument is as capable of embracing a multitude of styles as it is of delving deeply into a single genre. And any way you use it that is deliberate, artistically connected to the music you’re making, and healthful (that is, physically sustainable over a lifetime) is the 'right way.' Your growth as a singer, however, is much faster and your artistic choices far more extensive with a solid knowledge of vocal anatomy and function, which is one of the foundations of my private instruction. I want my students to fall in love with their voice and to explore it as an instrument, with passion and intelligence, their entire lives. School is only the beginning!"

"I began performing very young, singing Appalachian folk (in my native Kentucky), classical, and musical theater. Later, I fell in love with jazz—the focus of my career—but I've also sung gospel, blues, prog-rock, medieval, pop, western swing, and even yodeled! I love that I get to explore all this music with my students, tailoring it to their individual interests and sharing a broad perspective on vocal styles, technique, performance skills, song writing, and career paths."