From ripping organ solos with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, to holding court behind a stack of synths with pop songstress KT Tunstall, keyboardist, singer and songwriter Rachel Eckroth knows what it takes to succeed in the ever-changing music business. 

NAME: Rachel Eckroth

HOMETOWN: Phoenix, AZ

MUSICAL TRAINING: Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance from University of Nevada Las Vegas, plus a Master's Degree in Jazz Piano from Rutgers University.

FIRST GIGS: Piano trio gigs around Phoenix and Tucson, joined a pop band while living in Las Vegas which gave me my introduction to synths. I rocked a Roland XP-50.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sting, Fiona Apple, David Bowie

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Fink Resurgam.

MY BIG BREAK: Keyboardist in the Meredith Vieira Show house band. That gig allowed me to finance my creative projects.

LATEST ALBUM: Finishing my latest singer songwriter album, out in September called When It Falls.

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FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? The DSI Prophet 6 Sequential has been my favorite lately, because in general analog boards give you great freedom to tweak sounds on the spot, and the fat sounds in that board have inspired all kinds of songs that i’ve written in the last two years. Also, my red Wurlitzer 200A has a beautiful tone and feel, and is a great and soulful alternative to using a piano in my opinion

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’m dropping "Dark Waters," the first single from my new album on May 29, and we're also doing a show at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. 

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Keep connecting with other humans. There’s something beautiful about unplugging, hanging with your musical family, having a meal with them, and just being human. Musicians get so caught up in the theory of music and the rat race, so take time to create relationships.

For more information visit http://www.racheleckroth.com/