Vanessa Williams

District of Columbia, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Gospel / Christian
Vanessa Renee Williams, a resident of Washington, DC, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is the very proud mother of one daughter, Lisa.
On career path in the visual arts, Williams was encouraged to continue her studies by teacher, print maker and calligrapher, Laurie Siegel. Upon graduation from The Academy of Notre Dame in 1978, Williams was accepted at Howard University's College of Fine Arts. She earned a BFA degree in 1982.
As an elementary Art teacher at Patricia Roberts Harris Educational Center in Southeast Washington from 1987 until 2002, Williams served at the school as Key Communicator for the D.C. Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative "Art for Every Student" Program, and co-coordinator for the nationally acclaimed "Best Friends", a character-building based youth development program for adolescent girls.
Her path to the music industry began at the close of the 1993-94 school year. She began traveling as a member of "The Richard Smallwood Singers" across the United States and on her very first trips out of the country, and is currently a member of "Vision", the ensemble formed by Smallwood in 1996. She simultaneously performed as a background vocalist for Yolanda Adams from 1994 until 2000.
As a member of Smallwood's "Vision", Vanessa recorded "Angels" with Maurette Brown-Clark, "O What a Night" with Darlene Simmons, the Dove Award-nominated "Holy Thou Art God", "Oh, How He Loves You and Me", "Your Love Divine", "Is There Any Way", and "I Love The Lord" (re-recorded for "Verity: Live at The Apollo").
She has recorded two solo projects, "Vanessa" (2002) and "Here I Go Again" (2004).
Williams sang background vocals on Karen Clark Sheard's "The Heavens Are Telling", "Yolanda Adams: Live in Washington", and "Mountain High, Valley Low", The Canton Spirituals' "Living the Dream: Live in Washington", Verity Records' "A Tribute to Rosa Parks", Kim Waters' "All for Love",Lori Williams' "Healing Within", Kim Jordan "Uncommon"

She appears as a featured soloist on the following projects:
John Stoddart: "Love So Real"
"Megachurch Gospel"
Mike McCoy and Voices United: "Ready" and "Continue to Continue"
Skip Pruitt: "Eternity"
Drexel University's Gospel Choir: "Not To Us"
Anthony Walker: "Love Calling"
Shanachie Compilation: "Touch Me in the Morning"
Nolan Williams: "InSpiration"
El Shaddai
"Jimmy Russell and BOC Live"
John Tillery: "The Next Level"
WHUR: "Soul of the Holidays"
"The Alaskan Project", produced by Norris Garner
Straight Gate Mass Choir: "30 Years of Music"
Kim Jordan "Uncommon"

Williams participated in the following musical events:
1996- "Federation Francaise de Gospel/Best of Gospel on Tour", Paris and Strasbourg, France
1997- "Barbados World Gospel"
1998- "Amerique: Gospel Cite de la Musique", Paris, France
1997 1998-"Umbria Jazz Gospel and Soul" Festivals 1 and 2, Terni, Italy
1999- Glaxo Wellcome "Living Proof" Gospel Tour
Daimler Chrysler "Shout 2000" tour
2002- The Alliance Tour, featuring Karen Clark Sheard, Donald Lawrence, Richard Smallwood, Ted and Sheri, and Maurette Brown Clark
2005- McDonalds' Gospelfest
2007- Parks-King Lecture Series at Yale University
2007- "Kingdom Powerful" European Believers' Conference, Abano Terme, Italy
2008- Expo Zaragoza/World's Fair, Zaragoza, Spain featuring Coro Gospel
2008- Novara Gospel Festival in Novara, Italy
2009 and 2010- "Real Women's Conference", Jesus World Outreach Center, Heidelberg, Germany
2009 and 2010- "Capital Jazz Fest" Super Cruises
2010- John F. Kennedy Center "Joyful Sounds Across America" Concert Series
2010- 26th Annual John F. Kennedy Center Open House
2010- Verizon "How Sweet the Sound" Concert
2011- "Sanctuary: A Sacred Sounds Concert" featuring The National Symphony Orchestra
2011- American Cancer Society South Atlantic Division HBCU Student Leadership Conference
2011- Capital Jazz Fest w/ Phil Perry, Kevin Whalum and Lynne Fiddmont
2011- White House Observance of African American Music Appreciation Month
2011- NJ Mercer County Park "Sweet Sounds of Summer" Music Festival w/ Phil Perry
2011- Capital Jazz Super Cruise
2012- Stellar Awards
2012-Capital Jazz Super Cruise
2012-Children's Defense Fund "Beat The Odds Ceremony"

She recently created "Artsong Storysing"; a program designed to bring storytelling, basic visual art concepts, penmanship skills, and group singing to school-aged children and senior citizens, and has compiled a book of her art and poetry entitled "Free Indeed".
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