Rebecca Parris was born in Newton, Massachusetts on December 28, 1951. She was born of a family of musicians and educators. Rebecca performed from the age of 6, mostly in musical theatre. Her parents encouraged her to pursue the study of music. She studied with world-famous vocal coach, Blair MacClosky (her uncle) and attended the Boston Conservatory. Rebecca started her professional career in music working with various top 40's bands in the Northeast. She found that she preferred singing jazz and embarked upon a career in the jazz world.