Vanessa Rani began her musical education and performing at age 12 at school where most of her musical education was based around music from other cultures. She graduated from Leeds College of music with a 1st class honors in Jazz vocals and improvisation in July 2010. Here is where she started experimenting with styles of music from other cultures incorporating them with Jazz and improvisation. This is where her intrigue and her desire to delve deeper into how music from cultures could work together began. After her degree, she went to Kolkata, India and studied Indian classical vocal intensively with vocalist Bishnupriya Chakrabarty with mentoring from one of Kolkata’s finest Sarod players Prattyush Banerjee.
This along with her Indian music studies at Leeds College of Music with Indian Classical Saxophonist and Tutor Jesse Bannister has heavily inspired her to create one of her projects Sandrani which is based on Indian classical music and Western grooves using Tabla, voice along with acoustic guitars. With this project she has performed at venues such as music port festival and Manchester jazz festival along with Leeds venue Café Lento. This project is an exciting exploration into how tradition can fuse with other influences to create an innovative exciting sound
In recent years Vanessa has continued studying and exploring Jazz vocal and improvisation in the context of world music through self-study. Vanessa worked closely and was mentored by Percussionist Sam Bell where she explored the realm of latin Jazz and Salsa and learnt to play the Congas. She then began working on a project Manjula who were part of the Jazz North, Northern Line 2015-2016 Rosta. This project included latin, afro Jazz with a hint of indian classical influence and was essentially a product of everything she had been exposed to in her musical career.
Vanessa moved to London in November 2017. Based on some of the ideas and influence of Manjula, Vanessa is currently working on new material using her voice and skills as a percussionist to create and perform new material.
As well as this and the continuation of Sandrani, Vanessa’s most recent project to date is 12-14 piece Leeds Based Afro-beat band called Mansion of Snakes where she continues to explore the realms of percussion and vocal within an afro-beat Jazz setting keeping with the tradition of politically driven lyrics touching on modern day issues