Vanessa Collier at Olive Ridley’s
At 27 years of age, master musician and multi-talented blues performer Vanessa Collier has become an in-demand artist, bringing her charismatic charm, passionate and fiery performances, soulful voice, searing saxophone solos, and witty songwriting to the stage. Over the past year, Vanessa toured through 11 countries, alternating between tour legs in Europe as a featured artist with Ruf’s Blues Caravan and back in the U.S. and Canada with her talented 5-piece band.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Vanessa’s alluring vocals and stinging saxophone work saw her light up stages as part of Joe Louis Walker’s band (2012-2013), while her 2014 debut album Heart Soul & Saxophone was declared “magnificent” on Dan Aykroyd’s blues radio show, winning her accolades as Best of 2014 Blues Breaker.
In 2017, Vanessa continued her success with the release of her sophomore album Meeting My Shadow, earning many prestigious honors and awards:
2018 Blues Music Award Nominee – Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year
2018 Blues Music Award Nominee – Instrumental – Horn Player of the Year
2017 Blues Music Award Nominee – Instrumental – Horn Player of the Year
2017 Blues Blast Award Nominee – Sean Costello Rising Star Award
2017 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise – Jammingest Pro Award
2017 USA International Songwriting Competition – First Place – Lyrics
2017 International Songwriting Competition – Finalist (Top 2%) – Performance
2017 Billboard Top 15 – Meeting My Shadow
2017 Living Blues Artist
2017 – 27 weeks on the Roots Music Charts
Selmer Endorsed Exclusive Woodwind Artist
Vanessa also works hard to share her love of music and the blues with the next generations. She maintains a private saxophone studio teaching around 30 students per week. Vanessa is active with Blues in the Schools programs; regularly volunteers her time in schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland; serves as an adjudicating judge at solo & ensemble festivals; and offers jazz, blues, and saxophone clinics throughout the United States.
Here’s a small sample of what reviewers have to say about Vanessa…
“A young singer with a fierce, compelling voice, she also played a mean saxophone and had the charisma to get the crowd in the palm of her hand for a full hour.” — Lynn Saxburg, Ottawa Sun (reviewing Vanessa’s performance at the 2017 Ottawa Bluesfest)
“This bluesy singing sax player knows how to bring the slinking funk to her captivating, award winning sound that has echoes in young Bonnie Raitt/Maria Muldaur vocal sounds. Impressing everyone right out of the gate, she takes it to the next level of the game this time around with a set that’ll make you feel like the guy in those old Memorex ads. Killer stuff on every level, this sounds like one of the reasons you first became a music fan. Killer stuff.” –Midwest Record
“At 26 years old, Collier is a fresh face who comes to the blues stage carrying her reed instruments, a dual degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, a major label debut on Ruf Records, almost two years of touring with Joe Louis Walker, and a mature musical vision. With her tiny alto sax, Collier, like Walker, commands center stage with her vocals, soloing, and stage presence. At the 2016 International Blues Challenge…(her) performances were among some of the most invigorating shows on Beale.” –Art Tipaldi, Blues Music Magazine
“Collier is a one-time member of Joe Louis Walker’s band and she’s racked up a tremendous amount of accolades…The singer and sax player might as well go ahead and add another shelf to her trophy case because clearly, she’s going to need it. With a voice that often recalls that of blues-rock stalwart Bonnie Raitt, Collier turns up the heat…” –Kevin Wierzbicki, AXS.com
“With such a dearth of credible female blues artists on today’s music scene, it is refreshing to hear the latest release from Vanessa Collier, the follow-up to her 2014 release, Heart Soul & Saxophone. The award-winning, soulful songstress offers the whole package on her sophomore album – top-notch songwriting and sultry, R&B-soaked vocals that are complemented by her sizzling saxophone. The rich, smoky nuances of her voice will win over any music lover, and her multi-instrumental background only adds to her appeal.” –Michelle Wilson, Ink19.com
“Vanessa Collier is a fresh face on the American blues scene, and in addition to her soulful vocals she brings a mighty sax to the table. I am not the only one that thinks so, as Vanessa was nominated for the best horn instrumentalist at the 2017 BMAs…Vanessa is an important part of the future of blues, and it would cool to support her journey.” — Rex Bartholomew, Blues Blast Magazine