Who Is Vanessa Racci?
Vanessa Racci is an Italian-American singer, producer, and voice teacher with over 25 years of performance experience and two studio-produced albums. She offers a range of shows that span Jazz, theatre, and Italian-American music that includes “edutainment” and a unique retro image. Her love for music began at the age of four when she found herself captivated by Whitney Houston’s incredible vocals. Her family realized her natural talent and got Racci involved in musical theatre and private lessons as soon as they could.
Racci's Italian Background
Racci’s grandfather was another influence on her, playing many jazz and Italian-American classics around the house during her youth. This exposure piqued her interest and shaped her focus on her own music, leading to two albums that are uniquely Italian Jazz. Racci’s first album, Italiana Fresca (launched in 2017), reinvents Italian Classics with modern jazz arrangements. Her second album, Jazzy Italian (launched in October 2022), made its way to the top 10 albums of 2022 on the RMR jazz chart. Jazzy Italian has also been programmed on Siriusly Sinatra in addition to 150+ radio stations. Racci’s performance schedule keeps her busy while performing music from her albums. She performs at many jazz and Italian festivals, jazz clubs, and private events.
The Rich History of Italian-American Jazz
Every Italian has heard of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Would you be surprised to learn that those artists are considered jazz musicians? Many who listen to music are unfortunately misguided when it comes to the relevancy of jazz, often building a box around it and not understanding the applicability that the genre truly has.
Nick LaRocca's Jazz Impact
Nick LaRocca was one of the earliest jazz musicians who created the first jazz recording in history. The best part is, he was Italian-American! A Sicilian American from New Orleans, LaRocca started the original Dixieland Jazz Band with his colleagues in 1916. Italian-American jazz artists at the time took a great deal of influence from the music of the Creole population in New Orleans, both living in oppressed neighborhoods and often forming bands together. LaRocca inspired musicians such as Louis Armstrong, and Louis Prima, leading to a long lineage of Italian-Americans in jazz such as Guy Lombardo, Harry Warren, Chick Corea, and more!
How to Listen to Jazz-There Is No Right Way
A multitude of artists develop their influence from jazz using jump swing, bebop, waltz, and Latin jazz influences, Aforementioned, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are some of those musicians. If you are interested in Italian-centric jazz, try listening to Louis Prima. Looking for a more romantic feel? You cannot go wrong with Ella Fitzgerald. Listen in April for Jazz Appreciation Month along with Vanessa’s albums; Italiana Fresca or Jazzy Italian. Racci’s albums can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, or anywhere you stream music.
How to Support Vanessa Racci
Vanessa Racci’s primary goal as a musical artist is to educate people on the history of jazz with an emphasis on Italian-American contributions to the genre. Racci’s tour schedule can be found here. You can subscribe to her mailing list and find out where she is appearing around the country here.
Her music can be found on YouTube, Spotify, and her website. Follow on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Spotify @VanessaRacci. Follow on Facebook @VanessaRacciJazz
For her next project, Vanessa Racci is diving deep into the Harry Warren songbook (born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna), and is launching a vinyl version of her current album this year. Racci also offers personal voice lessons virtually or in person for anyone interested in learning from a trained professional.