“There’s a young lady [Vanessa Collier] came onstage with me, I forget where I was, but she’s playing an alto saxophone, and man, she was amazing.” – Buddy Guy
As a 7-time Blues Music Award (BMA) nominee and a 2-time BMA Award Winner for Horn Player of the Year (2020 & 2019), Vanessa Collier is excited to kick off her 2021 tour in celebration of her highly anticipated and self-produced fourth album, Heart on the Line. In addition to her BMA awards, Vanessa is also a multi award-winning songwriter, master musician, and multi-instrumentalist, known for seamlessly weaving together funk, soul, rock, and blues styles through soulful vocals, searing saxophone solos, and witty songwriting skills. With her career still in its infancy, Vanessa has already turned many heads, garnering tremendous accolades for her trademark high energy, powerful, fiery, and passionate live shows.
Vanessa started playing saxophone in the fourth grade and was in every school, all-county, and all-state band possible, while also playing AAU basketball, lettering all four years on her varsity basketball team, and graduating high school with honors. After high school, Vanessa earned a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with dual degrees in Performance and Music Production &; Engineering. Since graduating from Berklee, Vanessa has toured extensively, both nationally and internationally, and has released three critically acclaimed albums prior to Heart on the Line: 2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone; 2017’s Meeting My Shadow; and 2018’s Honey Up. Honey Up spent 9 weeks on the Top 15 Billboard Charts, three months on the Living Blues Report, and is currently spinning on Sirius XM radio.
As for Collier, she says she’s happy performing on stages across the world, hoping that she can make a difference with fans and followers along the way. “I am driven to do this because I find it a total form of expression and connection,” she explains. “I love connecting with an audience and feeling their energy and I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams and passions, to find what brings them joy, and then to pursue it doggedly.” Vanessa also takes that message to young people as she runs clinics across the country and is active with Blues in the Schools programs. At a recent Blues in the School program, Vanessa invited a stage full of elementary and middle school aged kids up to dance around her while she performed a blues shuffle. Watching the joy on the faces of Vanessa, the kids, and everyone in the auditorium, it is no wonder why Vanessa has become awe-inspiring to all who meet her. On top of talent and hard work, Vanessa shares an incredible heart and a strong purpose. To borrow from the words of an article in Blues Blast Magazine, “Vanessa is an important part of the future of the blues, and it would be cool to support her journey.”