September Spotlight on Women in the Arts: Rachel Kaufman

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Brooklyn native, Rachel Kaufman, is now musical director of the feisty phenomenon, Granny’s Blue-Mers.

Granny’s Blue-Mers has been touring the cabaret cricuit for over a year, playing to sold-out crowds in Manhattan, Brooklyn,a dn even in West voirginia where star, Mary Elizabeth micari, sang at Blues & Swing Week.

IMG_9164Rachel is a multi-instrumentalist who has music directed and/or played for well more than 300 musicals and cabaret shows world-wide at venues including New York’s Duplex, Metropolitan Room, Don’t Tell Mama, Rose’s Turn; Chicago’s Davenport’s and Montparnasse … and The Piano Bar in Mykonos, Greece!

She lent her talents to Off-Broadway shows including The Babies, The Fartiste, Oliver! (with Brian Stokes Mitchell), Schoolhouse Rock Live! (Lamb’s Theatre), CYCLE (Cherry Lane Theatre, co-composer); Regional shows including Hallelujah, Baby! (Arthur Laurents, dir.); Tom Jones (North Shore); and on tour with Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Sophisticated Ladies, Five Guys Named Moe, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Golf: The Musical. She holds a B.A. in Music (and Russian) from the University of Chicago.

We spent a  few minutes with her off the piano!

 

IMG_8529Tell us about yourself as an artist.

I’m an artist in several different ways – besides being a pianist, l also play around 20 other instruments, and have done gigs on most of them in a vast range of gigs all over the world. Also, besides being a musician, l have also worked as a professional magician, and am a very decent cartoonist. I come from a long line of professional artists, all in the visual arts. I am very passionate about expressing myself, no matter which instrument or field of arts l’m involved in, and love to entertain, as well as collaborate. There is so much hardship and pain in the world, and art universally brings comfort, joy and inspiration to people. I am proud and happy to ever be a part of something that affects people in such a wonderful way..

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What the biggest obstacle you are facing with this show

This has been an obstacle-free production for me, being that l am working with such professionals as Mary, Lauren and Andrew.

What is your opinion of indie film and theater? 

I support it all – indie film and theater can have just as much – if not sometimes more – beauty and importance as mainstream film and theater.

 

 

 

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Finally, my favorite, since you all have commercial and indie on your creds, what’s its like being a woman in the NYC arts scene in the 21st century… commercial v indie. 

It is an honor and a pleasure to be a female music director and accompanist in the NYC arts scene. It is my understanding that this is a position that is dominated more by men than by women, both in the commercial and indie scene, and perhaps that will change one day.

 

 

 

 

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