photo by Marina Williams
  Photo by Marina Williams / ARTpool Gallery
  :: a l b u m s ::
  click album to listen and buy
 Nest Nest
[ buy CD ]
[ iTunes ]
 award-winning original folk Japanese Bathhouse
[ buy CD ]
[ iTunes ]
 jazz standards and bossa nova ZapStar
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[ iTunes ]
 jazz standards, bossa nova, and originals Hummingbird
[ buy CD ]
[ iTunes ]

 Michelle Payne & Rebecca Zapen /traditional folk/  Songs of Bother and Woe /indie folk/

:: projects ::
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:: JAZZ ::
:: FOLK ::
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{ Rebecca Zapen }

A third-generation musician in a family tree including players of violin, piano, double bass, guitar, and accordion, Rebecca Zapen has developed into a versatile performer: classically-trained violinist, jazz crooner, and award-winning multi-instrumentalist songwriter. Barely out of the starting gate, her brand-new release, Nest, was awarded Florida Album of the Year 2011 by the Florida Times-Union, and her CD pre-release shows in her new home of St. Petersburg and hometown of Jacksonville were sold-out and standing-room-only. The 13 tracks of Nest exhibit Zapen's New Folk sound, foraying into Americana, bossa nova, and pop. In essence, Zapen made Nest while she was building a nest of her own, with husband and recording engineer Jeremy Douglass, who also plays keyboards and melodica on the new album. The recording for Nest began when Rebecca was 6 months pregnant, during which time they laid down all the rhythm tracks before baby Joel came into the world. They took a break from the recording as they adjusted to being new parents and getting back into the swing of gigging and such. After 13 months away from the recording they dedicated themselves to finishing it, burning the midnight oil (and 1 and 2am oil), and had it mastered when joel was 20 months old. The instrumentation ranges from simple ukulele and pure, velvety vocals to lush arrangements of guitar, strings and brass, with accents from melodica and glockenspiel.

Zapen's previous folk release "Japanese Bathhouse" won Best Album & Best Song (cabaret genre) in the Just Plain Folks Awards 2009, receiving 5 nominations. She was awarded Jacksonville's Musician of the Year 2008 (Florida Times Union). Career highlights include her performance as the musical guest on Public Radio International show Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?; original songs in a national promotion for Crocs Shoes; winning 2nd in the Bushman World Ukulele Video Contest and her resulting endorsement with Bushman Music Works. Zapen was a Finalist in the 2007 DiscMakers' Independent Music World Series. Her music has been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered: Open Mic. Past performances include Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Florida Folk Fest, Gamble Rogers Fest, and venues such as Hotel Cafe (L.A.), The Bitter End (NYC), and Paganini Auditorium (Italy).

"Zapen is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter with a vocal range that allows her to go from a jazz-sultry croon to a dreamy, honey-sweet cry, and a classically-trained violinist who also plays ukulele and guitar. She infuses her sound with elements of acoustic folk, Americana, and gypsy jazz, and brings a warm swinging feel to her pretty melodies."
                                       -- Creative Loafing

accolades for Nest:

"'Nest' is a deeply personal CD, pulling at your collar and tuggikng at your sleeves long after the first play. The music is wonderful and the lyrics are intelligent, sometimes funny and often times deeply moving. The concept of the CD revolves around Rebecca's first pregnancy and the birth of her son Joel."
                                       -- Florida Times-Union

"While some musicians spend a lifetime avoiding responsibilities and domestic duties as if they were sunlight or sobriety ... Zapen has taken the art of settling down to new heights with her latest album, the aptly titled 'Nest'."
                                       -- Folio Weekly

accolades for Japanese Bathhouse:

"Nothing adequately prepares for the way in which her deeply personal album instantaneously envelops and never loses its grip.... The title song and others bring to mind no less than early solo McCartney and Brian Wilson's SMiLE.... One of those near-perfect hidden gems..."
-- Relix

"This one falls firmly into the "wow, this is really well (self) produced and (self) recorded at home category.' ... I suspect that the old adage that good sounding music is easy to record is also part of why this sounds so good. Zapen not only writes great songs and sings them well, but she also has real arrrangement talents and plays a variety of instruments. "
-- Tape Op

Japanese Bathhouse