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Biography

With a mesmerizing blend of soul, spirit, and sultriness, Vanessa Collier is a refreshing young saxophonist and vocalist, uniting traditional jazz music with elements of soul, blues, Latin, and funk music. Vanessa continues to attract wide and diverse audiences with her fresh blend of genres, her singing saxophone style and distinctive voice, her captivating and confident on-stage presence, and her infectious passion for music.

Vanessa’s passion for music began at the age of 11, when she played first her first solo over the blues on saxophone; she was instantly deemed an “old jazz soul”. Vanessa believes that the soul is where all music originates and views music as a life journey of discovery that heals us, gives us peace, and magnifies the beauty in the world.

Vanessa is currently attending Berklee College of Music on scholarship in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is working toward dual degrees in Jazz Performance and Music Production and Engineering. She maintains a 3.9/4.0 GPA average, while performing and recording in the Boston and Philadelphia areas, as well as writing original music for her upcoming album.

Recently awarded the Sadao Watanabe Award for outstanding musical achievement, Vanessa has performed with many well-known artists, including Chris Vadala (Chuck Mangione), Bob Boguslaw (U.S. Marine Band), Dave Smith (Beach Boys), Andy Synowiec (Gordon Goodwin and the Big Phat Band), and most recently two-time Grammy Award-winning artist Kathy Mattea and guitarist Bill Cooley.

Vanessa is in demand as an artist for live performances as well as recording sessions. She has been honored to be a part of many sessions as a recording artist at Berklee, one of which Don Was (Bonnie Raitt) helped to produce. Vanessa has also performed and recorded with Jorge Perez Gonzalez and is featured on his newest album “From the Boiler Room” on the track entitled “Canción para mi santa madre”.

While at Berklee, Vanessa has had the privilege of learning from Kenwood Dennard (Jaco Pastorius), Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), Bill Pierce (Art Blakey), Frank Tiberi (Woody Herman), Wendy Rolfe, Stephen Webber, Marty Walsh, Prince Charles Alexander, and many other notable musicians.

Vanessa continues to further her knowledge of saxophone, voice, and musicianship through private studies. She has studied privately with Chris Vadala (Chuck Mangione) for eight years and has studied saxophone with George Garzone since Fall 2010. Vanessa has also studied voice privately with Diane Richardson since Spring 2010.

Her influences include The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Seal, Jill Scott, John Legend, Laura Izibor, Norah Jones, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, and Cannonball Adderley. Vanessa’s enchanting style is best described as beautiful jazz meets soulful power with a hint of gritty blues and a splash of Latin, “funkified” for your enjoyment!

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