Versatile violinist, vocalist, and songwriter Rebecca Zapen was named Jacksonville's Musician of the Year 2008, and recently received 5 nominations in the Just Plain Folks Awards 2009, in the categories of Best Cabaret Album, Best Cabaret Song, Best Vocal Jazz Song, and Best Music Video. Career highlights include Rebecca's recent performance as the musical guest on Public Radio International show "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?"; original songs in a national promotion for Crocs shoes; winning 2nd in the Bushman World Ukulele Video Contest and her resulting endorsement with Bushman Music Works; Finalist in the 2007 DiscMakers' Independent Music World Series. Other highlights include appearances as jazz vocal soloist with the Hollywood Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the mandolin soloist in Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. She is an award-winning composer, earning the Silver Medal of Excellence in the category of "Best Use of Music in a Short Film" at the Park City Film Music Festival for her scoring of A Riverside Evening. As a session musician, Zapen has composed for and performed on recordings for soundtracks, public radio, theme parks, various musical groups, and television, including recent commercials for Truvia sweetener. Her music has been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered: Open Mic. An independent musician, Rebecca has released original folk album Japanese Bathhouse, and jazz/bossa nova albums Hummingbird and ZapStar on her Bashert Records label, with new folk album Grandfather's Song for release in 2010.
"Nothing adequately prepares for the way in which her deeply personal album instantaneously envelops and never loses its grip.... The title song and others bring to mind no less than early solo McCartney and Brian Wilson's SMiLE.... One of those near-perfect hidden gems..."
-- Relix (on Japanese Bathhouse)
"This one falls firmly into the "wow, this is really well (self) produced and (self) recorded at home category.' ... I suspect that the old adage that good sounding music is easy to record is also part of why this sounds so good. Zapen not only writes great songs and sings them well, but she also has real arrangement talents and plays a variety of instruments. "
-- Tape Op (on Japanese Bathhouse)
"Rebecca Zapen could easily be the long-lost love child of Astrud Gilberto and that side of Pink Floyd we glimpsed in “San Tropez.” On her latest release, Zapen will lure you with sleepy, laid-back vocals and creative instrumentation. ...Overall, Japanese Bathhouse sails delightfully along between the waters of pop and jazz, with gentle breezes and soft ocean sighs to soothe you on the way.. "
-- Performing Songwriter DIY Top 12 Picks (on Japanese Bathhouse)
"This is a debut that is already assured without swaggering, full of thoughtful and subtly emotive music which is the product of a discriminating set of players led by a singer who is clearly one to watch for."
-- eJazzNews (on Hummingbird)