Birdland is proud to welcome Vanessa Racci to the stage!
Vanessa Racci returns to Birdland Jazz Club to debut her brand new show, Jazzy Italian!
To celebrate New York's Italian heritage month, this show honors Italian-American contributions to American jazz music, from its beginnings in New Orleans to modern day, with newly invented arrangements of songs from Nick LaRocca, Joe Venuti, Tony Mottola, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra and more, performed with a swinging quintet. Vanessa will be accompanied by long-time pianist/arranger, Glafkos Kontemeniotis, Marcus McLaurine on bass, Kenny Hassler on drums, Andrew Gould on tenor sax and Alex Norris on trumpet. It's a Sunday dinner celebration you don't want to miss!
To learn more about Vanessa Racci, go to www.vanessaracci.com or follow Vanessa Racci on Instagram or Facebook.
Growing up with her Barese (Southern Italian) grandfather in New York, Vanessa learned Italian American classics at an early age.
Later, she developed as a singer in musical theater, but in her 20s, discovered her love for jazz and started performing with a trio. After her grandfather passed away, Vanessa was inspired to reinvent the Italian American classics he taught her with modern jazz arrangements. Her mission was to keep this music alive for future generations, and in turn, her grandfather’s memory. So, she teamed up with NYC producer David Finck, Manhattan Transfer arranger, Yaron Gershovsky, and long time pianist/arranger friend, Glafkos Kontemeniotis to bring her vision to life.
The result was a sold out album release show at Birdland Jazz Club and a very unique album entitled, “Italiana Fresca”, that reached #65 on the jazz charts. Since then she has performed at over 50 Italian American festivals, events and jazz clubs across the country and has been played on over 20 Italian radio stations across the US and Italy.
Recently, she made another discovery; that her grandfather was first cousins with famous jazz guitarist, Tony Mottola. Upon learning this, Vanessa was inspired to learn more about the history of Jazz through the lens of the Italian American Experience, which led to the development of her new show, Jazz Italian.