If you haven’t been fortunate enough to meet Vanessa Collier and witness one of her head-turning, fiery, and passionate performances, you should definitely make sure you do. As a master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa weaves funk, soul, rock, and blues into every powerful performance and she is downright impressive. With soulful vocals, searing saxophone, and witty songwriting, Vanessa is blazing a trail, racking up an arsenal of honours, and has already singled herself out as an artist of distinction and one we would all do well to watch.
It’s not simply the accolades she has accumulated so far, although they’ve been many — three Blues Music Award Nominations (BMAs) for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year (2018) and Horn Player of the Year (2018 and 2017), a Blues Blast Award nomination, the Jammingest Pro Award bestowed by the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, First Place for lyrics in the International Songwriting Competition, Best of 2014 Blues Breaker on Dan Aykroyd’s BluesMobile — it’s the fact that she has accumulated all these honours even while her career is still in its infancy. A 2013 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, she’s toured nationally and internationally, released two critically acclaimed albums (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone and 2017’s Meeting My Shadow), and will release her highly anticipated self-produced third album, Honey Up, in July 2018.
These days, Collier spends much of her time on the road, performing at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world. Her talents have taken her to the Blues Music Awards Show where, in the words of the Blues Foundation, Vanessa “blew the doors off the Blues Music Awards!”; Ottawa Blues Festival, where she earned two front page newspaper photos and rave reviews after her foot stomping debut there; twice on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, where she earned the Jammingest Pro Award and was a featured artist with Tommy Castro’s Blues Review; Briggs Farm Festival, where she was the “most popular Briggs Farm act in 2017” (Elmore Magazine), and the list continues. In 2017, Vanessa was also a featured artist in three major tours across Europe as part of Ruf’s 2017 Blues Caravan.
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.”
Hard-driving blues rhythms and soul grooves fuel the blistering performance of D.C.-based soul blues band Vintage#18. After attending a performance, John Porter, WCVE declares, “Vintage#18 is a band you have to see live in order to appreciate their level of performance.” According to The Alternate Root, “Robbin Kapsalis delivers vocals that slink through a smokey haze of Soul”.
Performing together since 2013, the band sharpened their sound and performance chops in clubs throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. April 2017, Vintage#18 released their debut album Grit. The album reflects the band’s love of classic 60’s Soul and Blues, featuring a mix of originals as well as two covers (ZZ Top and Bob Dylan). The band received their first industry nod in early 2017 - a Blues Blast Music Award Nomination for New Artist Album Debut.
Grit delivers soul and passion along with very personal songwriting from Kapsalis and tight musicianship from Holter, Chandler, and Kuldell. The band’s live performances have generated quite the buzz throughout Washington, DC and surrounding areas and the tight-knit group soon found themselves sharing stages with the Nighthawks, Billy Price, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, Albert Cummings, Selwyn Birchwood, Coco Montoya and Roomful of Blues.
Vintage#18 features the vocals of Robbin Kapsalis, the unique sound of Bill Holter/#18 on guitar, while the groove is laid down by Alex Kuldell/drums and Mark Chandler/bass.
Blues In the South hit it on the head…” Although this outfit is undoubtedly a blues band, they have a distinctively individual sound.”