Rachel Leep Band was founded in the fall of 1998, not long after its lead singer and primary songwriter, Rachel Leep, returned from her studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Within a few months, the band released its first album and ascended to a position among the most accomplished bands in the burgeoning Western Michigan music scene. Leep, a classically trained pianist and singer, began playing music with acoustic guitarist Moses Murithi some two years before the band was formed. But it was the eclectic instrumental skills of percussionist Jimmy Schultz that cemented the band's lineup and helped to define its distinctive sound, which they came to call "Natural Rock" or "natrock"). $Schultz uses a variety of African and Brazilian percussion instruments, as well as "found sound" elements from natural environments. Murithi, a native of Mombasa, Kenya, also draws from African influence. The band says they "seek to define the inner and outer rhythym of one's spiritual and physical and natural environment." Rachel Leep Band released its first album, Wanting More, in 1999. The band is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where it continues to expand its devoted following.
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