• Rachel Flowers continues to astonish audiences with her musical ability, pursuing her dreams as a musician and composer.
• Blind from infancy, Rachel faces hurdles as she needs personal assistance when traveling, adaptive tech in the studio, and extra support at home.
• By donating to Rachel's CalABLE account, you provide the funds she needs now and in the future to help her travel, perform, and produce more astonishing music.
My Rachel Flowers Story, by David Michael Kalman
In March 2016 while puttering on Soundcloud, I came across cover tracks of songs by two of my favorite bands. Gentle Giant and King Crimson are known for complex, challenging music, and I was astonished to learn the covers were performed by one young woman from southern California, Rachel Flowers.
I listened to Rachel's covers and interpretations, which also included The Beatles, ELP, Prince, Debussy, and Zappa. I watched videos of Rachel performing Keith Emerson's most ambitious compositions, and I saw her joyful impromptu performances of Joe Satriani's "Flying in a Blue Dream" and Steve Reich's confounding "Piano Phase."
I was amazed that one person could play every instrument as well as (or better than) my lifelong musical heroes.
In August 2016, I drove to Ventura to hear Rachel's jazz trio at Squashed Grapes. I met Rachel's mother Jeanie, who was very kind. And I met Rachel, who held my hand as I told her I had driven six hours to see her. She thought that was "cool." I thought her performance was even cooler. With her trio she played jazz standards, obscurities, and original compositions. Between sets she soloed imposing Keith Emerson works.
When I first met her, she had just released her first album, the jazzy instrumental masterpiece "Listen." Since then she's released an R&B/prog/pop-influenced vocal album, "Going Somewhere," and most recently, her genre-bending "Bigger on the Inside."
Why I'm Supporting Rachel
Rachel combines musicality and sensitivity with focus, creativity, and encyclopedic knowledge. She works and studies hard, and it shows in her mastery of instruments and her fluency across musical genres. Just since I've known her, I've watched her develop her unique musical voice. I'm convinced that Rachel's not simply great, but potentially groundbreaking and influential.
That said, the reality is that artists today must produce and travel extensively to build audiences and connect with music industry influencers. It's daunting for any artist no matter how talented or experienced.
While recognition and demand for Rachel continue to grow, she still faces hurdles. Being blind from infancy, Rachel needs assistance when traveling, adaptive tech in the studio, and extra support at home. Rachel's mother Jeanie continues to do an awesome job fulfilling those needs while caring for Rachel and nurturing her career.
With so many opportunities for Rachel, there's a corresponding need for funding for travel, gear, and other life essentials. When California announced the CalABLE program, it struck me as a perfect vehicle to help Rachel invest in her career in a way that wasn't possible before.
CalABLE is like a college savings plan for individuals with disabilities. Anyone can contribute, earnings accumulate tax-free, and withdrawals for qualified expenses are tax-free to the beneficiary (Rachel). Qualified expenses can include transportation, assistive tech, support services, and living expenses. Rachel can use the funds to help her produce more amazing music and perform more frequently for audiences around the world, while also saving for a rainy day.
• Anyone can contribute at any level.
• The Kalman Family will continue to match up to $2500 in annual donations and cover the payment processing fees.
• 100% of funds go into Rachel's CalABLE account up to the CalABLE annual limit.
• Jeanie and Rachel are aware of this fundraiser and support my efforts, and deeply appreciate your contributions.
• Your donations to Rachel's CalABLE account are NOT tax deductible.
Jeanie, Rachel, and David at The LoFaro Center for the Performing Arts in Henniker, NH
David and Rachel at NAMM 2020, our last outing together before the pandemic
About Me: I'm David Michael Kalman, from San Mateo, Calif. I live with my wife, the writer Audrey Kalman. Our older son is a multi-media artist and music composer/producer known as lwrcs. Our younger son has his degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics and is a mountain biker and bike mechanic. Over the past 40 years, I've been a business consultant/advisor, editor, publisher, author, software developer, entrepreneur, and karate instructor. I was fortunate to meet Rachel and Jeanie in 2016. Most recently, I've been doing whatever I can to help Rachel achieve her goals. I've taken on this fundraiser so Jeanie and Rachel can concentrate on Rachel's music.
Thank you for reading my Rachel Flowers story and thank you for donating. For more about Rachel, I recommend Lorenzo DeStefano's uplifting documentary film, "Hearing is Believing," which chronicles Rachel's early life and astonishing musical talent. It's available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and several streaming platforms including Amazon Prime Video and Tubi TV.