Vanessa Collier

There is a reason why Vanessa Collier is returning for the second straight year to the Reading Blues Fest as presented by the Berks Arts Council. Berks County audiences can’t get enough of her.

No surprise there. Collier won the 2019 Blues Music Award for Instrumentalist – Horn and was nominated for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist.

Collier will be performing on Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom.

Following her on The Future of the Blues stage at 9:45 p.m. that evening will be 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, who is taking the music world by storm.

The multi-talented Collier is an in-demand artist, bringing her charismatic charm, passionate and fiery performances, soulful voice, searing saxophone solos and witty songwriting to the stage.

As a master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Collier weaves funk, soul, rock and blues into every powerful performance. She is blazing a trail racking up an impressive arsenal of honors and singling herself out as an artist of distinction.

Collier’s alluring vocals and stinging saxophone work saw her light up stages as part of Joe Louis Walker’s band (20012-20013) 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.

“I am driven to do this because I find it a total form of expression and connection. I love connecting with an audience and feeling their energy. I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams and passions, to find what brings them joy and then to pursue it doggedly.”

— Vanessa Collier

In 2017 Collier continued her success with the release of her sophomore album Meeting My Shadow, earning many prestigious honors and awards. She followed that album up with Honey Up in 2018.

“There’s a young lady (Vanessa Collier) came on stage with me. Forget where I was, but she’s playing an alto saxophone, and man, she was amazing.”

Those are the words of the legendary Buddy Guy, describing an impromptu performance with Collier on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to witness one of Collier’s head-turning, fiery and passionate performances, you definitely should catch her this time at Reading Blues Fest.

Collier performs on stages around the world, savoring the connection with audiences.

“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. I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams and passions, to find what brings them joy and then to pursue it doggedly.”

Collier works hard to share her love of music and the blues with the next generation. She maintains a private saxophone studio teaching around 30 students per week. She is active with Blues in the Schools and offers jazz, blues and saxophone clinics throughout the United States.

A review by Midwest Record of Collier eloquently captures her incredible talent:

“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. Killer stuff on every level.”

Blues Blast Magazine affirms: “In addition to her soulful vocals, Vanessa Collier brings a mighty sax to the table.”

Blues Music Magazine proclaims: “Collier comes to the blues stage carrying her reed instruments, a dual degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, a major label debut, almost two years of touring with Joe Louis Walker, and a mature musical vision. Collier commands center stage with her vocals, soloing and stage presence.”

Check her out at Reading Blues Fest. You will be far from disappointed.