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Despite her Los Angeles roots, singer / composer Raya Yarbrough is perhaps best known to global audiences as the singer of “The Skye Boat Song,” the Scottish-influenced main title theme song for Sony's international hit television series Outlander. In 2015, she was flown to the UK to perform the theme at the National Television Awards, at London’s O2 Arena, watched live by six and a half million viewers.

Performing an eclectic mix of new and old musical styles is not new to Yarbrough, having grown up singing in jazz clubs in Hollywood with her musician father, starting at the age of seven. In high school, she was a finalist in the prestigious Spotlight Awards at the Music Center, and featured in the 1997 documentary about the program. While she attended the USC Thornton School of Music, she was awarded the Quincy Jones Scholarship. Over the last decade, she has produced three independent albums, performed countless times, including opening for Terence Blanchard at The Jazz Standard in New York City, performing at the Playboy Jazz Festival, and singing at The Hollywood Bowl, under the direction of maestro Gustavo Dudamel. Yarbrough made her international debut on Telarc (Concord) with her self-titled album, “Raya Yarbrough,” produced by Oingo Boingo alum Steve Bartek. She has recently collaborated with pianist Billy Childs and Van Dyke Parks.

On the strength of compelling performances that reveal shades of Sarah Vaughn and Adele, The Los Angeles Times called her voice "a pliable, versatile instrument, an effective vehicle for a musical expression that ranges freely." USA Today remarked “Yarbrough’s gracefully gritty vocals recall a young Joan Osborne.”

Yarbrough has just completed her latest album, a conceptual record based on her original musical, “North of Sunset West of Vine,” a stage piece about her life growing up on Hollywood Blvd in the late 1980's.

 

MUSIC