Vanessa Kuzina

Vanessa Kuzina

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Old time southern roots, original folk and mountain bluegrass leads you to love and a good old fashioned hoe-down.

Biography

Vanessa Kuzina explores a diverse mix of old time southern roots music infused with modern and traditional sounds; traces of soulful gospel and blues, folk, acoustic and old time mountain music are weaved together with soaring vocals, heartfelt lyrics and distinctive instrumental arrangements. She has created her own unique and beautifully memorable sound.
An innate passion for music, along with her talent and resolve, have driven newcomer Vanessa Kuzina in her desire to succeed in the music industry and, in 2005, the recording of her song Whiskey Smiles marked the beginning of Vanessa’s professional music career. This time also marks the beginning of several very instrumental relationships in Vanessa’s career. Vanessa’s passion and determination have yielded some incredible opportunities for high profile performances and to develop invaluable relationships with successful industry professionals. Along with her Juno Award winning producer Dan Donahue, Vanessa’s mentorship includes songwriting, performance and business training and collaboration under Juno nominated and award-winning songwriters and performers James Keelaghan and Heather Bishop. Mentorship sessions and a live concert with Heather Bishop were recorded in 2006 by the CBC, the three-part feature was broadcast on a special edition of Shaken Not Stirred on CBC Radio One and Two. As a result of these sessions, Vanessa was introduced to and began training with world-renowned, Polish vocal coach Alicija Kietta-Seaborn. Throughout the last year of preparations for Vanessa’s debut cd release her mentors have proved invaluable in her development as a professional and with the blossoming of her unique musical vision.
Vanessa has enjoyed performing at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, a sold out cd release performance at the West End Cultural Centre, Trout Forest Music Festival and Harvest Moon Festival, along with many other events ranging from high-profile charity fundraisers to more intimate theatres and coffee houses. She has also done performances and interviews for radio and television. Performing solo stage or with various band arrangements her music continues to grow in popularity and, with support and hard work, she is forging a path for herself.
The launch of her debut album “Peony” is the culmination of Vanessa’s progress, experience, diverse musical mentorship and eclectic peer influences and collaboration. The CD is a full-length, independent release with all songs written by Vanessa and featuring a wide range of instrumental collaboration including electric guitars, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, accordion, banjo and Irish flutes. Contributors include Juno award winners Jordan McConnell and Scott Senior of the Duhks and well-known Winnipeg artists Dan Frechette, Marie-Josée Dandeneau, Kristjanna Oleson and Brandy Zdan (Twilight Hotel). Two years in the making and well worth the wait, ‘Peony’ showcases Vanessa’s fresh approach and unique style to an ever-growing network of supporters. Vanessa looks forward to Canadian spring and summer blooms during her upcoming tours in 2008.

Events and Media

• Performance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival 2005

• Mentorship sessions recorded by the CBC with renowned Juno award winning performer and activist Heather Bishop; working on performance, writing, vocal technique, business, professionalism April – June 2006

• From CBC mentorship sessions Vanessa is introduced to and begins vocal training with World renowned bella canto vocal coach Alicija Kietta Seaborn 2006-

• Concert with Heather Bishop recorded live by the CBC for airing as a special edition of Shaken Not Stirred in September 2006. Vanessa collaborated with Juno award winning and Grammy nominated guitar player and builder Jordan McConnell (the Duhks)

• ‘Whiskey Smiles’ recorded by Juno award winning producer Dan Donahue, kick starts Vanessa in 2005

• ‘Find My Way’ : Vanessa is commissioned by local charitable organization CAPC (Community Action Program for Children) to write and record a song to represent the organization for provincial and national usage 2005

• Songwriting training and collaboration under Juno nominated and award winning songwriters and performers James Keelaghan, Stephen Fearing and Cara Luft.

• CBC Up To Speed Music Corner with Marilyn Mackie; live interview and performance on CBC radio One July 2006

• Innaugural performer at the Winnipeg Folk Festival venue, The Folk Exchange with live interview and performance coverage from A Channel/City TV November 2005

• Invited to perform at high profile fundraisers with 300-400 people in attendance for the Winnipeg Harvest, NEST (North End Sponsorship Team) and the Bell Walk for Kids Help Phone

• Several performances and interviews on Shaw TV with local airing and regular looping throughout 2006 and 2007

• In studio live performance, promotion and interview on Red River Campus radio 92.9 Kick fm 2007

• CJOB live phone interview and pr

Lyrics

Peony

Written By: Vanessa Kuzina

Peony you're showy
Hardy, colourful dazzling really
Honeybee land gently
Peony you're tender, fragile really

Sunshine or rain
Life is champagne
A garden of flowers again and again

Daffodil you're early
Wait until you blossom gold and pearly
Winter chill you're surly
Daffodil you're mighty even burly

Sunshine or rain
Life is champagne
A garden of flowers again

Sunshine or rain
Life is champagne
A garden of flowers again and again

Oh no, oh no
I've seen shadows before
Oh no, oh no
Thunder will roar
No, oh no
Soil rich or for poor
Rainbow blossoms evermore

Marigold you're loyal
Story told
You're faithful through tough soil
Perfumed gold through turmoil
Marigold you're charming
Sweetly royal

Sunshine or rain
Life is champagne
A garden of flowers again and again

Sunshine or rain
Life is champagne
A garden of flowers again and again

River's Cry

Written By: Vanessa Kuzina

Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap and pop, hiss and sigh
Listen to the river's cry

Soft yellow petaled tulip
Push through the snow
You need the ice
For your shallow roots to grow
This year the springtime's oh so slow
The south wind's pledge to blow

Fat catfishes sacrifice
The warm weathered birds come back to fly
The sun creeps up to its
Ever-reigning high
Listen to the river's cry

Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap and pop, hiss and sigh
Listen to the river's cry

Golden elm tree branches
Open up to breathe
Black and grey soot
From down in the streets
rain falls down in winter's defeat
Listen for the river's heatbeat

Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap, pop, run to the edge
Snap and pop, hiss and sigh
Listen to the river's cry

Won't Need My Shoes on Heaven's Floor

Written By: Vanessa Kuzina

Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor
Or painted nails at heaven’s door
Won’t carry coins or pain no more
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

Won’t need the ring on my left hand
Again we’ll meet, again we’ll stand
No diamonds now, I’m returning poor
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

Won’t need to wash my old worn dress
To set my hair try to impress
My robe will be white evermore
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

No burdens or tears
Sorrows or fears

While I’m dancing on glorious shores
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

Naught else to do but climb the stairs
To heaven’s gate nothing compares
To the golden Light when I cross o’er
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor
Or painted nails at heaven’s door
Won’t carry coins or pain no more
Won’t need my shoes on heaven’s floor

Discography

Vanessa Kuzina's debut full length album Peony released June 16th 2007

Set List

3x 45 minute sets available. A lovely mix or original folk mixed with old time Appalachian mountain traditional tunes and stylings with some peppering of favourites by the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Patsy Cline

Song List

1. Armed Robbery Club
2. Peony
3. Medley-Snake Song (T.V.Zandt), Little Sadie (trad.), Roustabout (trad.)
4. Won't Need My Shoes on Heaven's Floor
5. Wintersong
6. Georgie Buck (Old time Trad.)
7. You Don't Bring Me Roses
8. Walkin' After Midnight (P. Cline)
9. La Bastrande (trad.)
10. River's Cry
11. Wander Tonight
12. Little Liza Jane (Trad.)
13. Come Let's Fly
14. Sail Away Ladies (Trad.)
15. Sycamore

All songs written by V. Kuzina unless otherwise stated.