Raison D’Etre in French means “reason for being” which in this case, refers to Violet Rae Downey, Vickie Ellis, and Roberta Schultz who live to sing together. Hailing from Northern Kentucky, Raison D’Etre specializes in seamless tight vocal harmonies, introspective original songs, and a performing repertoire featuring everything from Shaker to swing. Their sound is an eclectic mix of folk, country, original compositions, Shaker songs, 18th century ballads and even a little Broadway.
A background in musical theater drives Violet's dramatic sense of song and fuels her incredible range. Vickie combines classical piano training, communications experience in radio and theater, and interest in folk instruments to add spice to arrangements and homey chat to performances. Roberta contributes finger-picking guitar styles, metaphysical song writing and Native drums (including a few that she made) to Raison D'Etre's unique mix.
The trio has appeared at key venues in their home state including the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington, Glema Mahr Center for the Arts in Madisonville, Leeds Center for the Arts in Winchester, and the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville.
Raison D’Etre’s musical recordings can be found at
the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea.