Vansessa Rodrigues
Vanessa (*1978 in Edmonton, Alberta) began playing piano at age 5, then became fascinated with the pipe organ at age 8; however, due to very limited access to organs, piano remained her main instrument for a long time. In addition to piano, she also played double bass and viola for several years, taking advantage of the many unique educational and travel opportunities presented to her through the Edmonton Public Schools string program.
Vanessa built a strong foundation in classical music throughout her childhood, then discovered jazz music at age 14. After completing high school in 1996, she attended the reputable International Jazz Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She moved to Montreal later that year, and graduated from the McGill University Jazz Performance program with a degree in jazz piano in June of 2000. Near the end of her degree, Vanessa took the opportunity to try out a Hammond B-3 organ that was sitting in a friend's basement, and after playing one note she was instantly rendered a life-long devotee. She formed her own 11-piece Tower of Power style funk band in 1999, for which she was musical director, organist, and manager.
In February of 2002, she spent one month as a live-in student, crashing on world-renowned jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith's couch! She went on to perform in the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 2002 with her own original soul-jazz organ trio, and hosted a popular organ jam session for the duration of the festival, which was attended by acclaimed jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. In April of 2003, Vanessa produced and performed in two concerts featuring New York baritone saxophone legend Ronnie Cuber. She then returned to the Banff Centre, this time on Hammond B-3 organ, where she performed with Mike Murley, John Abercrombie, and Dave Douglas. She is the first and only organist to attend the program to date.
Vanessa has finally been able to address her life-long passion for the pipe organ, and enjoys her regular Sunday gig as assistant organist at St. Matthias Church.
on tour Click on the logo to see Vanessa's tour dates.


Soul Project
recorded April 2004 in Montreal/Canada
Vanessa Rodrigues, Hammond B-3 organ
Donna Grantis, guitar
Jean-Pierre Lévesque, drums
DJ Killa-Jewel, turntables
Live At Upstairs
no label
recorded live November 2010 at Upstairs Jazz Bar in Montreal/Canada
Chris Gale, sax
Mike Rud, guitar
Vanessa Rodrigues, Hammond B-3 organ
Davide DiRenzo, drums

Sound Samples
MP3 "One-Eyed Monster", recorded 27 April 2003,
Ronnie Cuber, baritone sax
Cordell Henebury, guitar
Jean-Pierre Levesque, drums
06:49 - 6,406kB
Video n/a

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