Jillian Rae is a multi-talented violinist, lead vocalist, and songwriter whose creative and dynamic style of violin playing, along with her lifelong experience as a performer, lend her an assured stage presence. She has an innate ability to create hook-laden tunes affirming the positives of life in the face of struggle and disappointment.
Like many of Minnesota's finest musicians, Jillian Rae grew up in the north, on the Iron Range - an environment as open to country, folk (and yes, polka) as it is to pop, rock and blues. Growing up in a music-loving household, Jillian was hooked early when she began taking violin lessons at age 7. From there, she began to sing, dance, perform, and has been working hard at perfecting her art ever since.
The ultimate reward for her years of musical passion and pursuit is the ability to give back. After years of study, performing and teaching, Jillian opened a music school, The Music Lab, in 2011 with her pal and fellow musician, Josie Just. Located in Minneapolis' Nokomis neighborhood, The Music Lab is Jillian's vehicle for passing on all she has learned - actively teaching voice, violin and viola to youth and adults, with (of course) an emphasis on performance.
Jillian has been a heavy hitter in the Minnesota music scene for years, playing with as many musicians as humanly possible - on stage, in the studio, or both. Currently, when she isn't performing with her own band, you can still catch her playing fiddle and singing with a number of bands around the Twin Cities: Corpse Reviver (Early American Folk, Bluegrass), Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings (Folk Revisionist), Ilika Ward & the Moonlight Riders (Acoustic Americana), The Fiddle Heirs (5 fiddles and a bass), and Adam Levy's (The Honeydogs) solo project.
In her spare time, Jillian occasionally tours with the Grammy Award winning Okee Dokee Brothers, lending her fiddle to their family-oriented folk/bluegrass performances.
Get to know Jillian from this 2017 video series on City Pages' Back to the City, with Simon Calder:
Get to know Jillian from this 2012 audition video for The Voice: