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Yolanda Rabun's 2017 Look Back and Vision forward for 2018

January 2018

Happy 2018!  We are already two weeks in to the New Year and things are warming up even if there is nearly a foot of snow in my backyard; I don't do snow! All jokes aside, I'm grateful for the promise of a good year! I hope you are too!

THANK YOU for your support in 2017;  Here is a glimpse of what happened and some 2018 happenings on the horizon! Stay connected with me at ! Lots to come!

2017 was a very strong performance year of opening for Grammy and Tony award winner Stephanie Mills and Will Downing in Pollstar and BillBoard Magazine's top performance venue in the US, Durham Performing Arts Center!   The Yolanda Album made JazzWeek charts for several weeks with significant airplay around the world. And along with radio interviews and the sort, I had great fun at Koka Booth Amphitheater's Hob Nob Jazz Concert and Beyu Jazz Caffe! If you add on the tribute to Nina Simone with the Durham Symphony Orchestra and tribute to the legendary Nancy Wilson plus the Private Dinner Concert at the NC Governor's Mansion for Governor Cooper and his wife, Kristen, without a doubt, God's mercy blessed me to deliver and connect with music abundantly! 

To top off the year, Wishing you A Very Merry Christmas from my Christmastime album, was a winner in Jango Radio's  holiday song contest!

So, 2018 is starting off with excitement. 

Jan 22nd, catch me in the City at Joe's Pub for a glimpse of a song from the *new* musical, StarBoy written by Starlight Express' superstar Ray Shell and JCS' Chris Van Cleave. Funny story, I saw Ray in Starlight Express in London when I was in high school ! Who knew?!

If you missed my Nancy Wilson tribute last year, I am remounting it in 2018 around the world. First stop before I leave home is Durham's best jazz music venue, Beyu Caffe, on Saturday, February 17! It will be Nancy Wilson's 81st birthday celebration, you should catch it if you can! It will sell out.

I'm also singing some Ella Fitzgerald selections for the Symphony on Sunday February 11, as we also celebrate Langston Hughes. That will be a treat!

If you can't make a show, send a friend! Share with others and let me know you sent them! Let 2018 be the year you share the good news! It's meant for everyone!

Yolanda Rabun Launches Theatre Raleigh's Fall Concert Series with Tribute to Nancy Wilson

September 2017

Plan for an Entertaining Saturday Evening on September 30, 2017, at 8pm Duke Energy's Center for the Performing Arts, Kennedy Theatre

RALEIGH, N.C. - Sept. 6, 2017 - PRLog -- Acclaimed NC jazz vocalist and professional actor Yolanda Rabun is set to open Theatre Raleigh's Fall Concert Series on Saturday, September 30, 2017, backed by her 4-piece rhythm section and including special guests at Duke Energy Performing Arts Center's Kennedy Theatre.  This one-night special engagement, "To Sweet Nancy with Love", kicks off at 8pm and is Rabun's new signature tribute to dramatic pop song stylist and Grammy Award winning jazz artist Nancy Wilson.

With the celebration of Nancy Wilson's 80th birthday in February of this year, Rabun began brainstorming her plan to pay homage to Wilson and her prolific discography of standards, pop, jazz, blues, Broadway show tunes, adult contemporary, R&B and soul-tinged music.   "I needed a cozy, intimate environment to dive into (Nancy) Wilson's diverse repertoire of melodies and lyrics so when Theatre Raleigh's Artistic Director, Lauren Kennedy approached me for the concert series, I was ecstatic; the stage was set for the tribute!" said Rabun.

Like music legend Nancy Wilson, Rabun has a reputation of approaching songs and concerts with outstanding vocal dexterity and a unique dramatic flair. This past May, Rabun performed a special tribute to another jazz icon, Nina Simone with the Durham Symphony Orchestra with rave reviews. She also was a featured performer in Theatre Raleigh's Summer smash hit, Smokey Joe's Café and last year's stellar production of North Carolina Theatre's Mary Poppins. Rabun, who touts Nancy Wilson as one of her favorite musical influences, featured the Wilson classic, That's What I Want for Christmas, on her second CD recording, Christmastime.

"I love to share songs where people feel as though the story I am telling happened to them or even me", said Rabun.  The Nancy Wilson tribute at the end of September will be filled with a smorgasbord of great music and familiar stories. Expect to have a myriad of emotions. You may laugh, cheer, cry, reminisce, get mad and forgive and then find yourself smiling. One thing is for sure, a good time will be had by all !  Tickets start at $25 and are available at  Group rates available by calling the box office – 919-832-9997. Advance Tickets Highly Recommended.


About Yolanda Rabun
An extraordinarily gifted storyteller with a soul-drenched jazz voice, NC chanteuse Yolanda Rabun is also a BMI songwriter and National Recording artist having three full studio albums and chart-topping singles under her belt.  Yolanda has been called a modern-day Renaissance woman as she successfully manages her music and life as a wife, mother, music entrepreneur, motivational speaker, professional AEA actor and practicing corporate attorney.  Yolanda Rabun holds an Honors B.A. degree from Holy Cross College, a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School, and has won, among other professional honors, the Triangle Business Journal's Top 40 under 40 Leadership Award.  Yolanda is also an award-winning actor (Cantey Award for Best Actress), voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and an ASCAP Publisher.

Tour Dates:
September 30 – Nancy Wilson Tribute, Theatre Raleigh Concert Series
October 3 -  Community Music School Benefit Concert with Alan Campbell & Friends
October 22 - Jazz in the Park Concert Series, Birmingham, Alabama

For more information please go to
Facebook: YodyfulMusic | Twitter and Instagram: YolandaRabun

About Theatre Raleigh
The mission of Theatre Raleigh, Inc. is to produce work with an artistic scope that includes musical theatre, drama, comedy, concerts, theatre for young audiences, as well as the development of new theatrical projects. Theatre Raleigh, Inc. will nurture a tradition of intimate, professional live performances while enhancing, stimulating and providing opportunities to our community, thus contributing to its vitality.

Theatre Raleigh, Inc. produces a critically-acclaimed Summer Series, Family Series and a planned Concert Series.  This umbrella institution operates with the goal of providing audiences diverse programming in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information please go to

Yolanda Rabun to guest with the Durham Symphony Orchestra for Nina Simone Tribute

May 2017

The Durham Symphony Orchestra presents a glowing tribute to North Carolina’s own legendary singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone. This event is sure to spark emotion and conversation. The program will also include music by some of her favorite classical composers.
“Nina Simone, a native of Tryon, North Carolina was one of the African-American pop music icons of the 20th century. In addition, she was a civil rights activist, a virtuoso classical pianist and….a divided soul. This concert will celebrate her artistry and life with the help of her greatest hits, excerpts from the Emmy award-winning film, ” What Happened, Miss Simone?” and the jazz stylings of the incomparable Yolanda Rabun.”
Maestro – William Henry Curry
Guest vocalist – Yolanda Rabun
Tickets – Available online and at the door
$35 (VIP Post-reception, limit 80)
$25 General admission
$10 Student ticket with ID
Free for Children 12 and under

Yolanda Rabun to play in Theatre Raleigh's Summer kickoff, Smokey Joe's Cafe

April 2017

Smokey Joe’s Café rocks its way to Theatre Raleigh for its summer opening May 31, 2017. This toe-tapping musical features some 38 Billboard hits from the legendary team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  It has been billed as ‘the hottest joint in town’, and will be directed by Award-winning Broadway actress, Singer and Theatre performer Julia Murney and features Raleigh’s chart-topping national recording artist and veteran award-winning theatre actor, Yolanda Rabun.  The full Smokey Joe’s Café cast will perform the live on-stage musical revue through June 11, 2017.

Smokey Joe’s Café made its Broadway debut on March 2, 1995, at the Virginia Theatre. During the show’s milestone run of 4 years and 11 months, the production became Broadway’s longest running musical revue, playing 2,036 performances. The New York Daily News calls Smokey Joe’s Café “wildly infectious” and Time Magazine says, “It sails and soars!”

The show opens at the Kennedy Theatre in the Duke Center of Performance Arts at 2 East South Street, Raleigh.  Tickets are available online at or from the Ticket Office at 919-832-9997.

Yolanda Rabun to serve as Keynote Speaker for Wake County's SHE LEADS Conference 2017

March 2017

On Friday, March 17, 2017, from 9am to 1pm, Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School will host nearly 200 high school female students representing every high school in Raleigh for the second annual “SHE LEADS” conference, a day devoted to leadership training and empowerment. The conference was started by students from the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy, an all-female public school for sixth- through 12th-graders in Raleigh, and was organized to teach leadership and self-confidence to other girls in the Triangle. Yolanda Rabun, is this year's Keynote Speaker!  She will speak on the Power of Living and Leading your Life at the Speed of Passion!

Learn More about WYWLA at:

Yolanda Rabun featured on WUNC 91.5 the State of Things

March 2017

Click here or picture below: 

Yolanda Rabun to Give Away 2 FREE tickets to the Feel the Fire Tour to the most creative Yolanda Rabun fan in social media!row

February 2017


...before we announce our winners!

Get a Chance to Win 2 Tickets to the Saturday Night show on March 4, 2017, where Yolanda Rabun opens for Will Downing and Stephanie Mills at the DPAC by going to the Yolanda Rabun Facebook Fan Page for details!

All you have to do is Post a Video of you singing a Yolanda Rabun song or your favorite Yolanda Rabun picture and your favorite song! Be creative!  Tag me (YolandaRabun) and Share! The best and most prominent post wins!

Winner announced, March 3, 2017.



Yolanda Rabun to join Will Downing and Stephanie Mills at the Durham Performing Arts Center for the Feel the Fire Tour in March

January 2017

The DOME Group, LLC proudly presents
The “Feel the Fire”Tour featuring
Stephanie Mills and Will Downing...
with NC’s own songstress Yolanda Rabun

March 4th at DPAC

PRESALE: Thursday 1/12 @ 10am; code: DPAC
General Onsale: Friday 1/13 @ 10am.

Yolanda Album reviewed in JazzTimes  - "Classy and Magical"  and - "Emotionally Rich"

November 2016

Yolanda Rabun's new album is beautifully soulful and versatile

Written by Stacey Zering

Echoes of Stephanie Mills and Patti LaBelle drift through the new self-titled album from Yolanda Rabun. Emerging from the North Carolina jazz circuit, Rabun is actually more versatile than a number of her contemporaries as she stylistically weaves through various genres including R 'n' B, blues, funk, and soul. She has a robust, emotionally charged voice with strong Gospel roots; there is profound depth in her delivery, like she is feeling the weight of every lyric.

On "Believe in Love," Thurman "Peanut" Woods' funky bass gives the track a sleek '70s vibe that is completely irresistible while the silky keyboards of Bertron Curtis and Joel Holloway add a smooth, incandescent undertow. Rabun's singing is extraordinary, brimming with strength and compassion. Hers is a throwback to the soul powerhouses of the 'Me' Decade, a quality that is rare these days. There is an authenticity to her vocals that caress the heart.

The lush romanticism of Rabun's voice transforms "Set for Life" from an Easy Listening ballad to a moving declaration of love. Kevin Wilson's crisp, tasteful guitar playing offers layers of atmosphere. It's a beautiful song. On "Hold On to Your Dreams," Rabun lifts the spirits with an exhilarating R 'n' B performance. Like everything else on the record, it is both classy and magical.

New album from Yolanda Rabun an invigorating blend of blues, funk, and jazz
(Published: November 29, 2016)

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Yolanda Rabun eschews the kind of predictable formula that has allowed soulful wanna-be's achieve commercial success before the eventual skid on the charts. Rabun's experiences with the North Carolina Opera and performing and opening for diverse artists like the Isley Brothers and Sheila E. sharpened her ability to handle blues, funk, jazz, and R&B, from mid-tempo numbers and ballads to more upbeat fare as on her latest effort Yolanda.

"Be My Husband" issues a poignant warning to men thinking they can take advantage of her affections; this woman will tolerate no abuse, emotional or physical. That is one of Rabun's gifts, to render the most acute pain with severe clarity and calmness. Ironic, too, since the track seemed to be more of a blind declaration of love. It's still a romantic statement but a blunt, honest one that many women will be able to relate to and find inspiration from.

Emotionally rich, Yolanda is sleekly crafted, a compelling and invigorating suite of songs that merge elements of jazz and soul. Songs such as "Set for Life" exude an aura of lighted candles and dreamy nighttime skies while "Take the Day Off" is infectious in its playful sense of fun.

The album is extraordinarily balanced, capturing an artist at the top of her strengths.

Yolanda Rabun to Join Esteem group of Professional Actors for SPOKEN JUSTICE: The Black Pioneer's Project

November 2016

Yolanda Rabun will take on the 'voice' of one of the first African-Americans students who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Guest Reader in UNC Chapel Hill's acclaimed Process Series. The Process Series in partnership with the Southern Oral History Program is presenting SPOKEN JUSTICE: The Black Pioneers Project. The Black Pioneers Project is a collection of oral histories of the first African-Americans students who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will have performances on Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 6 at 3 p.m. at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. 

Over the past year, Southern Oral History Program interns interviewed members of the “Black Pioneers”—the earliest African American students at UNC, those attending between 1952 and 1972. This piece is being developed from their personal accounts as related in recorded interviews and then woven together in performance. Remarkable stories emerge of individuals overcoming racism and effecting lasting change at UNC and beyond.

Confimed Guest readers include Fay Hauser-Priice, Thaddeus Edwards, Thomasi McDonald, LaKeisha Coffey, E. Patrick Johnson, Gil Faison, Kashif Powell, Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, and Renee Alexander Craft.

Yolanda Rabun's YOLANDA submitted for 59th Annual Grammy Award Recognition 

October 2016

Yolanda Rabun's 2016 YOLANDA jazz release was submitted this summer as a contender for several Grammy awards, including Best R&B Album, Traditional R&B Performance, and Best Improvised Jazz Solo. It's now official, the YOLANDA album is on the first-round ballot and up for consideration of a Grammy by voting Grammy members!

Yolanda's excitement when she first saw her name on the official Grammy first-round ballot entry list was "pure joy", according to her response in an email.  The eligibility period for the 2017 Grammy Awards ran through September 2016, and the final nomination list is announced in December 2016. The awards program is February 2017, in Los Angeles.

Vocalist Yolanda Rabun with
Composer Mitch Uscher, "Take the Day Off"

Vocalist Yolanda Rabun with Jazz Saxophone Soloist, Brian Miller ("Love is Here to Stay")

Vocalist Yolanda Rabun with
Composer Alton Tisino, "Hold on to Your Dreams"

Yolanda Rabun serves as Town Hall Leader for Girls Scout

August 2016

Yolanda Rabun featured in Carolina Parent for her role in Mary Poppins

July 2016

Check out the Carolina Parent Article featuring a Day in the Life of an Actor based on a typical rehearsal day for Yolanda Rabun in her role as Mrs. Corry in North Carolina Theatre's production of Mary Poppins with Broadway's Kara Lindsay.

Yolanda Rabun featured in News and Observer Paper, Jazz in M.E.E. Magazine and  Spectacular Magazine

July 2016

Yolanda Rabun peformed her release concert on July 9th at the Duke Center for the Performing Arts and was featured in several publications including a full page story in the renowned News and Observer paper and a feature article in Jazz in M.E.E. Magazine.  Check out the after concert photo feature and write up in the Spectacular Magazine and the review of the Yolanda Album release concert in Triangle Arts and Entertainment.

Click Above

Yolanda Rabun’s July 9th Cool Summer Evening Was a Hot Concert for Theatre Raleigh Patrons

Click Above

Yolanda Rabun featured on Black Girls Talking Podcast and I Write Good Blog

Check out the recent post on Black Girls Talking podcast where Yolanda's  interview with Aurelia focused on Holding on to Your Dreams.  See also the very cool write-up by champion writer Joe Walker in his series, I Write "Good" recounting an experiece where Yolanda Rabun did something nice for someone she has never talked about before now! 

Yolanda Rabun to return to Professional Theatre Stage this Summer

May 2016

Yolanda is excited to announce her return to the stage to play the delightful role of Mrs. Corry in North Carolina Theatre's production of Marry Poppins.  The show runs July 26-31 at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, NC. Rising star, Riley Kennedy to play role of Jane! A Sell Out is predicted! Get Tickets Now!

Yolanda Rabun appeared on Billboard List and other Charts with the YOLANDA Album

April 2016


The Yolanda Album is being played worldwide on several terrestrial and internet radio stations and programs and has given Yolanda Rabun an appearance on a BDS | BillBoard list and Groove Jazz Music Most Added list and several other charts, including the UK Soul Top 30 chart, Radio Wave 100 Internet Airplay Chart (Smooth Jazz), and the Chart! 

We are grateful for the exposore to quality music and look forward to more good news!

Yolanda Rabun appears on My Carolina Talk to introduce YOLANDA

Yolanda Interview on CBS'  My Carolina Talk

Yolanda singing live on CBS' My Carolina Talk 

Yolanda Rabun's Believe in Love "Strongly Impressive"

March 2016 - SonicSoul (Germany)

The Sonic Soul Review of Yolanda Rabun's Believe in Love Single from the Yolanda Album is turning heads overseas.  See Sonic Soul's Review of YOLANDA here;
See review of Believe in Love here:

Album Reviews for YOLANDA

‘Believe In Love’ is a superb showcase for [Yolanda's] art. - Smooth Jazz Therapy

Yolanda Rabun's got a great groove here – a sound that's even tighter, warmer, and jazzier than on her previous album – with all the poise and class you'd expect from her image on the cover! - Dusty Groove

Her voice is unique and limitless on her buoyant first single "Believe in Love" - Jazz Mood Radio

A good example of Rabun’s ability to find that sweet spot between being reverential to the source material while introducing her personality to a tune, is her rendition of “Be My Husband". - SoulTracks

The LP’s best overall vocal performance happens on her version of Stevie Wonder’s “Rocket Love.” Rabun is so soulfully invested - Soul Train

In [Yolanda] we can find several versions of songs [of] well known artists as Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and George Gershwin, all made ​​with elegance and spectacular vocal skills of [Yolanda Rabun]. - Cloud Jazz

Yolanda Rabun’s New Album, YOLANDA, Available For Pre-Order Today! Album Arrives March 8

February 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – Feb. 12, 2016 – PRLog — North Carolina Singer/Songwriter Yolanda Rabun announces the global release of her highly anticipated third studio album, YOLANDA, for Tuesday, March 8, 2016. The Yodyful Music release is available now for pre-order on the iTunes Store and Yolanda’s exclusive online store via Square.

A number of fans, most of whom were Kickstarter backers that helped Rabun net over $21,000 to create the soul-infused jazz project, already have access to the new music. A few other lucky fans have snagged a copy of YOLANDA by attending a live performance of Rabun in February.

The YOLANDA album, recorded in Raleigh, NC, at Haggard Recording Studios was engineered by Thurman Woods of Garner, NC who together with Yolanda paid particular attention to each track to ensure this fan-funded project had the unified sound people get from start to finish at Yolanda’s live shows. Yolanda notes, “The whole process of recording the music live for YOLANDA was really fun, organic and spontaneous, and what ended up coming through were songs that are powerful and dramatic, and musically cohesive.”

Yolanda feels she has made an album that’s bursting with energy, soul and big life-affirming moments such as the deliciously ebullient latin jazz tune, Take the Day Off, the uplifting emotional power ballad, I Hope You Dance, and the folk/funk-powered Nina Simone anthem, Be My Husband.

Yolanda gives her own smooth but straight-forward twist on two rhythm and blues staples: Rocket Love and Feel Like Making Love. The huge-hearted Hold on to Your Dreams (see video above), first featured as a single in 2013, finds a home on this album and continues to be Yolanda’s mantra to never give up on your gifts or your dreams. Rabun also co-wrote the wedding anthem, Yes, as a personal testament to love, marriage and God.

Yolanda Rabun says she has never enjoyed making a jazz recording, undeniably fused with soulful interpretations, more than this one. Nor has she been happier with the results. The jazz classic but also blues-soaked Gershwin tune, Love is Here to Stay along with previously recorded songs Believe in Love and Set for Life tend to be Rabun’s favorites.

The album cover photography for YOLANDA is by renowned Visual Artist, Christopher R. Charles of Creative Silence, Inc in Durham, NC. Azani Couture and Aura Salon and Boutique also put the finishing touches on Yolanda’s new look which is reflective of the new music and new brand: focused, fierce, and fearless.

“Pre-ordering the YOLANDA project is a great opportunity to help promote indie artists worthy of recognition for quality work”, says Yolanda. By pre-purchasing a copy of YOLANDA from Yolanda’s online store at, music lovers will be supporting Rabun more directly and getting the bonus of an autographed CD and downloads that include CD Liner Notes and Photos when the album becomes available March 8.

Additional news and updates can also be found at both and (@YOLANDARABUN).



1. Be My Husband
2. Believe in Love
3. Feel Like Making Love
4. Rocket Love
5. Set for Life
6. Yes
7. Hold on to Your Dreams
8. Love is Here to Stay
9. I Hope You Dance
10. Take the Day Off