Raquel Bitton is recognized as the foremost singer of French Jazz music in America today and has been internationally praised as the greatest interpreter of the music from the Edith Piaf repertoire.
The star of the award winning Film Piaf..Her story..Her songs currently airing on PBS stations nationwide.
Raquel was born in Marrakesh, Morocco and she and her family moved to San Francisco In 1970, as a teenager, where she began her American career, focusing on the songs from the French l'Age d'Or.
She discovered her French repertoire by dusting off her father's old records that he brought with him to America. Raquel was drawn to the passionate melodies and lyrics of the romantic period of the 1930's and 40's.
Raquel's insatiable appetite for songs of the heart led her to the Edith Piaf songbook. Raquel became not only an expert historian on the life and songs of Edith Piaf, but also a renowned interpreter of her music, singularly able to capture the complete essence of one of the great vocalists of the 20th Century.
Raquel has performed her hit show, Raquel Bitton sings Piaf- her story, her songs, to sold-out performances at notable concert halls across North America including several sold out performances at Carnegie Hall.
"PIAF- her story, her songs" celebrates the extraordinary life of the legendary Piaf through her songs. A 20-piece orchestra backs Bitton's one-woman tribute to the "little sparrow." Bitton's unique, heartfelt renditions (sung in French) and her powerful delivery take her audience on an intensely moving and emotional journey.
In addition, Raquel performs several other elegant French-themed presentations including "Pops goes to Paris" (for symphony pops) and "A Little Bit of Paris"
Raquel Bitton has performed as the headline soloist at the following venues.
- Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
- The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
- The Elgin Theater, Toronto, Canada
- Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada
- Place des Arts, Montréal, Canada
- Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
- Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois
- The Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington
- Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, California
- Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California
- San Francisco Opera House, San Francisco, California
- Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, California
- Lincoln Theater, Miami, Florida
- Club Sportif, Monaco
Critical Acclaim"MAGNIFICENT, EMOTIONAL, MESMERIZING." Musically stunning: 'Bitton's impassioned delivery has a trance-like effect on a listener. Piaf and Billie Holiday share a poignancy that few others have mastered; Bitton, here, is one." Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner
"BITTON'S VOCALS HONORED PIAF'S STYLE without strictly imitating it. No one could live up to a legend so inflated, but a bright interpreter like Ms. Bitton certainly can illuminate it." Ann Powers, The New York Times
"BITTON OFFERS TOUCHING TRIBUTE TO PIAF. Bitton delivered a performance that would surely have been touching even to someone who'd never heard of Piaf. Classic pieces such as Sous le ciel de Paris; Milord; Non, je ne regrette rien; and, of course, La vie en rose triggered ecstatic applause from a packed crowd." Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
"THERE IS THE UNMISTAKABLE PASSION Ms. Bitton brings to her invocation of the Piaf vocal spirit." Barry Singer, The New York Times
"Passion is at the core of the "Piaf" Persona, in this case there is a surrogate, she is RAQUEL BITTON." Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
"Dear Raquel, your singing is superb, and I was so happy to find out to which extent you possess the "Climat" PIAF. Your voice, your heart, your talent would have pleased her so much, I assure you. - Henri Contet (Author of more than 40 of Piaf's songs..Le Vieux Piano, T'es beau tu sais...)
"PIAF IS BORN AGAIN" RAQUEL BITTON BRINGS A LEGEND BACK TO LIFE. Raquel Bitton went straight to the audience's heart like Piaf before her. [Carnegie Hall] was packed with people far as the eye could see. Raquel Bitton?s show was well and truly sold out! This singer doesn?t simply imitate, she performs in her own right and performs with the same burning passion of the one and only Madame Piaf! That Saturday night, another star was born. Myriem Wong, France Amerique/Radio France International/Figaro.
For more reviews: www.raquelbitton.com
Film "Piaf- her story, her songs". A docu-concert film written by and starring Raquel Bitton. Won several prestigious film festival awards and was released by Lions Gate Films in 2003. PIAF..Her story..Her songs? is now airing on PBS stations nationwide
Commissioned by Tony Award winning Theatreworks in California, Raquel Bitton conceived and co-wrote "The Sparrow and the Birdman", a three person play with music celebrating the friendship between the French poet Jean Cocteau and the legendary French singer Edith Piaf.
Le Ballet des coeurs "Hearts", Raquel was responsible for the concept and scenario of this full-length ballet that married the story line of the classic French film "les enfant du paradis" with selected songs from the Piaf repertoire that tell the story which was choreographed by Michael Smuin. A 65 piece orchestra accompanied Raquel as the ballet was preformed at the Opera House in San Francisco for two seasons with the San Francisco Ballet and at the Kennedy Center in DC with the Washington Ballet.
- Co-Produced ?The Nights of Edith Piaf? for National Public Radio
- Consultant for and appeared in the PBS television documentary, "La Vie enRose"
Discography (seven albums to date)
- Boleros (French Latin Jazz recording)
- Paris Blues
- Dream a little Dream
- Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf
- In a Jazzy Mood
- Changes (Country)
- Wish You Love
On FEBRUARY 13 AT 12:30PM: "PIAF...Her story..Her songs" starring Raquel Bitton airing on CHANNEL THIRTEEN