Critical Acclaim and Awards

"A sumptuous tone...high-charged, instrumentally-oriented jazz chops…"Don Heckman, LA Times, Jazz Times, International Review of Music and elsewhere

  • 2012 Backstage Bistro Award Winner Best Tribute Show: A 95th Birthday Tribute to Russ Garcia
  • 2011MAC AWARD Nominee: Outstanding Female Vocalist
  • 2010 MAC AWARD Nominee: Outstanding Jazz Vocalist
  • 2009 MAC AWARD WINNER: Best Jazz Recording 'Charmed Life'
  • 2009 MAC AWARD Nominee: Outstanding Jazz Vocalist
  • 2008 MAC AWARD WINNER: Song of the Year
  • 2008 MAC AWARD Nominee: Outstanding Jazz Vocalist
  • 2007 MAC AWARD Nominee: Recording of the Year for ‘At Home’

"...she brings to each song a combination of solid musicianship and equally strong lyric detail, with nary a misstep or infelicitous choice; what's more, her voice has deepened into a beautiful burnished gold."

“Breathtaking” LA Jazz Scene

“…a voice as rich and silky as her auburn hair…”

 “.... Rainbolt’s golden tone and interpretative intuition are undeniably seductive." Jazzwise Magazine (UK)

"...Immaculate vocal authority.... She’s At Home with vocal jazz from many different perspectives…”

"...We're reminded of the power that a song can hold. Without a moment's notice, we're transformed." Jazz Improv Magazine

"When Shaynee Rainbolt navigates the shoals of Russ Garcia's Trombone-laden arrangements, a beautiful artistic union forms -- that of an emerging voice and an orchestral master." Kirk Silsbee, Downbeat 

"...on a recent trip to the Upper West Side’s Sugar Bar, I lucked into a piece of ear candy that was like biting into a rich, luscious piece of pure dark chocolate—the jazzy vocal stylings of Shaynee Rainbolt...Just a few bars into her first number—the Harry Warren/Al Dubin classic “I Only Have Eyes for You”—I wondered if this lovely auburn-haired chanteuse was named by Native Americans after giving a concert on a reservation. “Shay-nee Rain-bolt” could easily be the Indian name for “Sweet Singer of Songs.” A fascinating hybrid of a classic jazz vocalist and a 1940s big band singer, Shaynee breezed through more than 20 songs over two sets, from Sondheim to Ellington to Hoagy Carmichael to Rodgers and Hart. Whether it was her improvisation on a sultry Latin number like “Esta Tarde Vi Llover” (“Yesterday I Heard the Rain”), her expert phrasing on a beautiful ballad such as “Easy to Remember,” or her subtle scat on “No Moon at All,” Shaynee exuded confidence and charm and her delivery seemed almost effortless." Stephen Hanks for Cabaret Scenes Magazine

"If you like your jazz smooth, sultry, sophisticated, and swinging, you're in luck. The legendary songwriting/performance team of Ashford & Simpson are devoting a few nights a month to jazz of the female vocalist variety with the Shaynee Rainbolt Quartet at their Upper West Side neighborhood boite, Sugar Bar....Rainbolt is able to inhabit multiple vocal styles with adroitness and aplomb. Her demeanor is charming, warm and welcoming with a hint of mischief. Her choice of material is always fresh, even with fan favorites peppering any given set. The arrangements are intelligent and inventive with equal attention paid to melody, improvisation, and lyric interpretation. She always lets her band stretch out with instrumental solos for texture and interest. At any given gig, the party atmosphere that Rainbolt naturally creates is enhanced by a wealth of other performers (some of whom sit in with the band on occasion) who make it a point to visit her monthly gatherings of jazz and cocktails."

"Displaying much warmth in manner and vocal tone, Shaynee Rainbolt showed again she’s got the goods and good songs in two sets at RedBar, an especially attractive, airy and wel-coming (no cover!!) venue. Just across the street from Lincoln Center, the restaurant with a bar is experimenting with diverse music programming, wisely booking this singer who knows how to present herself and her music in such a setting, never being obtrusive but never becoming wallpaper. Avoiding lamenting songs that are killjoys or killer belting in your face, neither of which mixes well with the relaxed atmosphere of friends and fettuccini, selections were well-chosen: cozy and rosy. It was also hip with the jazz sensibilities of the singer, pianist Janice Friedman (who also accompanies her at her monthly sets at The Sugar Bar several blocks uptown) and primo bassist Tom Hubbard. What was most striking was the timbre of the voice, with more legato and more beautifully sustained, floating notes than we’ve heard from her in the past. Relaxed and confident, she communicated lyrics well, bringing listeners in. Only a fool would want to miss such a dreamy evening. Cabaret Scenes Magazine

"Taking on the task of covering one of rock history’s most iconic bands is a formidable challenge at the best of times, but choosing to interpret the music of Fleetwood Mac [Rumours] in a Latin jazz setting is an undertaking most artists would walk away from, yet Shaynee Rainbolt with her sultry vocals made it sound easy...this band really came together on the wonderfully arranged songs...It would be difficult to imagine any audience not responding enthusiastically to Shaynee Rainbolt’s interpretation of these pieces, as she strikes an intimate connection with her audience."

"She [Shaynee] triumphs. Her voice is simply sensational...Often, listening to the album feels like hearing a long-lost jazz-pop masterpiece from the 1950s, the great album you never heard of, bursting to thawed, awed life from a well-preserved time capsule...Charmed Life works like a charm." "...She [Shaynee] phrases like the great Cleo Laine and soars all over the octaves... scats and bops with the trombones with jazz chops that remind you of O'Day and Christy and Chris Connor at their peaks with Kenton. “ Cabaret Scenes Magazine

Emotionally sophisticated vocalizing ...this one is a keeper.” The Bay Area Reporter

“Shaynee Rainbolt, a terrific vocalist... dreamy.” San Francisco Bay Times

"...Superlatively smooth and thoroughly enjoyable...her silky jazz voice can tease as well as haunt." Sondheim Review Magazine


"Each cut is turned into a classic that takes the listener on a journey to a forgotten place as it opens new windows. Too, each cut is carefully chosen and executed with the same finesse that made the likes of jazz ladies like a young Anita O’Day and Shirley Horn so special. With Trenner’s elite history of working with so many jazz giants in the business from the Big Band era to the likes of Nancy Wilson, Ann-Margret and Shirley MacLaine, etc., etc., and the huge influence of the greats of jazz flowing through Rainbolt’s veins, it all comes together fluently in a uniquely impressive CD that should be a part of any serious song lover’s collection. Two for the Road is a CD that takes you on a musical journey that is pretty perfect." Talkin' Broadway: Sound Advice: "...Genre and original sources or era when a number was introduced become somewhat irrelevant as everything feels quite timeless. Living in the moment of the lyrics, convincingly conveyed, Shaynee has never sounded so consistently involved in the words and moods, communicating insight into story and ambience set up by the transforming Trenner touch. It's the kind of CD that reveals additional layers with repeat plays and is heavenly to have wafting through the air. Nothing showy here, nor splashy, but the impact is sweetly satisfying. " 

Cabaret Scenese Magazine

"...Rainbolt at her vocal best, and Trenner, at age 85, is a sublime musician and accompanist to Rainbolt’s jazz stylings.... magical" Edge Boston; Kevin On Kabaret