Jillian Rae

Jillian Rae is a fiercely unique spirit— a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who cares more about making authentic music than about fitting into a tidy box. A classically trained violinist, she has become a commanding international presence, heading up her own critically acclaimed rock/pop band and creating powerful, genre-bending songs. She also performs regularly with her traditional folk band Corpse Reviver and has toured extensively, backing up Grammy-winning acts like The Okee Dokee Brothers.

Although she got her start playing with folk and country bands, Rae’s latest album, I Can’t Be the One You Want Me to Be (2019), took a decided turn into pop and rock with unflinching, hard-hitting songs. It also showcased her orchestration abilities with layered violin tracks saturated in heavy grooves and moody arrangements. The album’s final track “Wayward One” was featured prominently in the hit Chinese film The White Storm 2 and has catapulted her into near stardom in China.

Lauded as a “triple threat on vocals, fiddle, and composition” (Star Tribune), Jillian Rae has become known for her soaring pop orchestrations and is an in-demand producer and session player. Along with her partner/co-producer Eric Martin, she runs a home studio in Minneapolis. During the pandemic, the studio became the hub for her weekly livestream performances and a space for her to write and record tracks for her next album. Never one to back down or give up, Rae is a natural-born performer who has always found a way to make music.

Raised in Minnesota’s Iron Range, Rae grew up playing in orchestras but fell in love early on with the traditional Scandinavian music she learned from her Finnish violin teacher. Equally influenced by her parent’s Jimi Hendrix record collection and polka music she inherited from her grandparents, she quickly learned how to adapt a variety of music to the instrument— putting her own spin on rock, folk, and classical music. Unsurprisingly, she studied music in college, touring with ensembles and performing in Vienna and London. After college, Rae relocated to Minneapolis where she became the go-to fiddler for a variety of folk and rock acts— joining The Brass Kings and backing up artists like Brian Just and Adam Levy (The Honeydogs, Turn Turn Turn). While making a name for herself as a top-notch fiddler and a singer with a powerful stage presence, she formed her own band and started performing her original mix of Americana, rock, and pop.

In 2013, Rae released her debut album, Heartbeat— a confident pop-rock record with subtle nods to her folk and classical pedigrees. A glimmer of what was to come on her wide-ranging recordings, the album showed her playing country fiddle on one tune, rock guitar on the next, and driving violin through synthy guitar effects on another. The album garnered much praise and made artists and promoters take notice. She became so busy touring and recording with various projects that she wasn’t able to get back into the studio to make her own music until 2016 when she recorded her EP Wanderlust (2017). More of a stripped-down Americana record, it showcased Rae’s dynamic vocals and serious songwriting chops that served as a portend of what was to come.

In addition to writing, recording, and performing, Rae is an experienced music educator. She has kept a studio of private students for more than two decades, something she has continued online during the pandemic. Although music takes up most of her time, she always makes time to cook, hang out with her handsome dog Ernie, and keep tabs on the latest Bigfoot sightings and paranormal activity.

Upcoming Shows


Sep
16
th
Turf Club
Sep
16
th
Turf Club

A Tribute to
Shania Twain

featuring Faith BoblettJaedyn JamesJillian RaeLaura HugoLeslie VincentSavannah SmithSiri Undlin (of Humbird) • with a special DJ set & Line Dancing Lessons from Hold Your Lady Tight Night

Past Shows


May
19
th
2022
Turf Club
May
19
th
2022
Turf Club

Tiffany

with Jillian Rae
Apr
27
th
2022
Turf Club
Apr
27
th
2022
Turf Club

Tribute to
Emmylou Harris & Loretta Lynn

featuring Cathy 'N Abel, Doug Collins, Jennifer Eckes, Vicky Emerson, Annie Fitzgerald, Zachary Scot Johnson, Lakewood Cemetery, John Louis, Sarah Morris, Mother Banjo, Jillian Rae, Lara Shortridge, Savannah Smith, Katy Tessman, Katy Vernon, and Nicole Wilder
Jan
14
th
2022
Turf Club
Jan
14
th
2022
Turf Club
Cancelled

A Tribute to
Dolly Parton

with CECELIA ERHOLTZ (of TABAH), DIANE, FAITH BOBLETT, JAEDYN JAMES, JILLIAN RAE, LESLIE VINCENT, LYDIA LIZA, MADISON HALLMAN, MOLLY BRANDT, SIRI UNDLIN (of HUMBIRD), and THEYSELF
Aug
27
th
2021
Turf Club
Aug
27
th
2021
Turf Club

A Tribute to
Shania Twain

Backed by the All Star A LITTLE TOO SHORT TO BE STORMTROOPERS band featuring members of GENERAL B AND THE WIZ, RUBEN, THE OK FACTOR, THEYSELF, SLEEP STUDY, and THE PLOTT HOUNDS
with Jillian Rae, Faith Boblett, Savannah Smith and more!
May
24
th
2021
First Avenue
May
24
th
2021
First Avenue

Bob Dylan 80th Birthday Bash Tribute

Live from First Avenue + Livestream

featuring TURN TURN TURNTERRY WALSH (St. Dominic’s Trio) • DEMITRI RALLIS & JOE DUNN (Frogleg) • LYNVAL JACKSON (International Reggae All Stars) • CURTISS AERIK KOSKINENDAN ISRAELCOURTNEY YASMINEHMARY BUEGINI DODDSBECKY KAPELLJILLIAN RAEJOSH GRAVELINPAUL BERGEN
with music by The St. Louis Park Wrecking Crew
Apr
3
rd
2020
Turf Club
Apr
3
rd
2020
Turf Club
Cancelled

Bora York

Album Release Show
with Syvers and Jillian Rae
Mar
4
th
2020
7th St Entry
Mar
4
th
2020
7th St Entry

Maria and the Coins

with Jillian Rae and Emily Haavik
Nov
29
th
2019
Turf Club
Nov
29
th
2019
Turf Club

A TRIBUTE TO THE REPLACEMENTS and The Melismatics

with Annie and the Bang Bang, MAD RIPPLE HOOT FOR SLIM, Al Church and more!
Aug
29
th
2019
Turf Club
Aug
29
th
2019
Turf Club

A Tribute to
Shania Twain

Backed by members of GENERAL B AND THE WIZ, RUBEN, THE FEDERALES, TABAH, SLEEP STUDY, and THE PLOTT HOUNDS
with Jillian Rae, Lydia Liza, Savannah Smith and more!
Feb
1
st
2019
Turf Club
Jan
24
th
2019
Turf Club
Jan
24
th
2019
Turf Club

Kari Arnett

with Ben Miller, Savannah Smith, The Home Fires and more!
May
2
nd
2018
Turf Club
Jul
19
th
2017
7th St Entry
Jul
19
th
2017
7th St Entry
May
18
th
2017
Turf Club
May
18
th
2017
Turf Club

The Suitcase Junket

with Del Barber and Jillian Rae
Jul
23
rd
2016
Surly Brewing Festival Field
Jul
23
rd
2016
Surly Brewing Festival Field

Dr. Dog

with Shakey Graves and Jillian Rae
May
10
th
2016
7th St Entry
Jan
25
th
2015
7th St Entry
Jan
25
th
2015
7th St Entry

Quinn Tsan

with Jillian Rae and SETH DAVIN
Dec
5
th
2014
7th St Entry
Dec
5
th
2014
7th St Entry

ICE

A SONGWRITER NIGHT
with Martin Devaney, Jillian Rae, TERRY WALSH and more!
Jul
29
th
2014
The Cedar Cultural Center
Jul
29
th
2014
The Cedar Cultural Center

The Secret Sisters

with Jillian Rae
Mar
6
th
2014
7th St Entry
Mar
6
th
2014
7th St Entry

ARE YOU LOCAL?

with Black Diet, Botzy, Jillian Rae and more!

More Shows

Oct
20
th
Turf Club

KEN mode

with Frail Body and Feral Light
Nov
18
th
Fine Line
Oct
27
th
7th St Entry

Pinkshift

with Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur
Oct
1
st
7th St Entry

Loveless

with Futuristic