Growing up in northeastern Minnesota, Rae started her music career early on in life, stating “I’ve always been into music and musical I think, since I was a little kid.” After attending a summer camp in the first grade and seeing a group of kids playing violin, Rae begged for her own violin lessons. In the second grade she was finally able to start taking lessons. And who was her teacher? Rae became a student for the same woman who led the music group she had seen perform at summer camp. From the third grade on Rae then began performing and touring with the group.
Now after about seven years of playing in Minneapolis, Rae is currently performing with five groups, playing fiddle and providing vocals. These include Corpse Reviver (Early American Folk and Bluegrass), Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings (Folk Revisionist), Brian Just Band (‘60’s California Pop), The Fiddle Heirs (Five Fiddles and a Bass), and The Blackberry Brandy Boys(Cosmic Country). Between these groups Rae performs between one and four shows per week, depending on each band’s schedule. In addition, she also runs and teaches at The Music Lab, a music school based in the Nokomis neighborhood of Minneapolis. This was started in 2011 with fellow musician Josie Just. Youth and adults alike are able to learn voice, violin, and viola with an added emphasis on performance. When additional space was added in 2013, The Movement Lab was then started with partner Stepheni Hubert to offer dance and fitness courses to students (Jillian Rae Music, 2015).
On top of performing and owning her own music school, Rae also writes her own music, using everyday situations and life experiences to inspire her songs. She also notes ‘60’s and ‘70’s bands, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson as influences from the country and rock-and-roll genres. This can be seen in her music, which when asked to describe it to people who have never heard it, Rae answered that it fell under the Americana umbrella, but is genre hopping. She added that it ranges from folk and blue-grass to straight up rock-and-roll.
For more information on the violinist, vocalist, and songwriter Jillian Rae, go to where music, performance schedules, merchandise, and more can be found. Rae also has a Facebook (jraemusic) and Twitter (@jraemusic) page in addition to her YouTube channel (jillianraeviolin) where she can be reached.