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So…What IS the Lavender Cloud?
The Lavender Cloud creates catchy, often silly, fun songs, adventurous stories and imaginative videos that bring joy to kids and adults alike. They perform at Children’s Hospitals, Kids Birthday Parties, Schools, Cocktail Bars, Folk Festivals, House Shows and Theater Festivals in West Michigan and the greater Chicago area. Lavender Cloud is made up of Rachael Claire (on all things strings and vocals), Justin Botz (on guitar, kazoo, and vocals), and their many anthropomorphic animal friends.
Rachael Claire is an award winning songwriter, classically trained violist and multi-instrumentalist. Her folk-blues voice is warm and passionate, usually accompanied by piano, viola, ukulele or her rockin’ mandolin. Claire grew up performing in her family folk band, Kinsfolk, since age 12, playing fiddle tunes, world music and original music in West Michigan and Chicago. They recorded an album in 2007. Claire released her first solo album, Fragrance, in 2012. She is working on The Invisible Change Project, a collaborative album project that features songs inspired by the stories of Chicago’s homeless. Her Invisible Change song won the juried award for folk/country in Grand Rapids’ Art Prize in 2016.
Claire holds a Bachelors of Viola Performance from Western Michigan University, studying under Kalamazoo Symphony Principal Violist Igor Fedotov. She has a Masters in Viola Performance from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, studying under internationally known soloist and chamber musician Roger Chase in 2014. She currently teaches Violin, Viola and Songwriting at Bellas Artes School of Music in the greater Chicago area. Claire co-founded The Lavender Cloud band with her husband, Justin Botz in the summer of 2018.
Justin Botz is a hybrid media artist who creates objects and performances that explore the relationship between technology and our spiritual lives. He has worked with some of the leading artists and performance groups in the city of Chicago and graduated from Columbia College in 2015 with an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media. He currently teaches art and technology classes in the city of Chicago and serves on the board of Curious Theatre Branch.
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