News: Vaneese Thomas to appear at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne

Posted on: Monday, Jul 20, 2015


Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Vaneese is the daughter of Rufus Thomas, whose legendary career as a musician and entertainer began in Vaudeville and spanned more than half a century in rhythm-and-blues recording and radio. Her older siblings are the hit recording artist “Memphis Queen” Carla Thomas and the highly respected keyboardist and producer, Marvell Thomas.

Embracing this remarkable musical legacy, Vaneese carries forward the rich heritage of Memphis soul and R&B, a music that has touched several generations and crossed many divides. At the same time she has combined all the influences of her background and experience ­– R & B, gospel, blues, and jazz – to cultivate a soul-stirring style that’s all her own. She has worked with the renowned recording producer Phil Ramone and has sung with an astonishing array of internationally known performers including Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and numerous others.

In addition to concerts and recordings, Vaneese has worked extensively in film and television. She was the voice of Grace the Bass on the PBS series “Shining Time Station” and Clio the Muse, Goddess of History, in Disney’s Hercules. She has sung on numerous film soundtracks including Anastasia, Mighty Aphrodite and The First Wives Club. TV appearances include “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and “NBC’s Today.”

Vaneese has also produced recordings, created vocal arrangements, and written songs for Patti Austin, Freddie Jackson, Bob James, Larry Coryell, Melba Moore, and Diana Ross, who scored a Top Ten hit in the United Kingdom with Vaneese’s “One Shining Moment.”

She has sung with the Baltimore and Colorado Symphonies in “Too Hot to Handel” under the baton of Marin Alsop and at several Pavarotti & Friends concerts in Modena, Italy; Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Michael Jackson & Friends concerts with Luther Vandross in Seoul, Korea, and Munich, Germany

Geffen Records released Vaneese’s first major recording in 1987. The self-titled album included the  Top Ten R & B hit “Let’s Talk it Over.” Vaneese’s current release ‘Blues For My Father’ has taken the Blues world by storm! Ranking #1 for September 2014 in France , #7 in the US for 2014 and garnering 2 BMA award nominations for 2014.

Vaneese Thomas appears at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne on Saturday, 29th August on The International Stage.

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