Venissa Santi

Born: May 10, 1978    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Venissa Santi

Venissa’s artistry stems from the necessity to express the many influences that have nourished her spirit as a Cuban American. She was born in Ithaca, New York and hails from a long line of Cuban artists. But it was her grandfather, Jacobo Ros Capablanca, a Cuban composer who instilled in her a life-long passion for music.

As a child she grew up listening to the sounds of Ravel, Celia Cruz and Michael Jackson as well as theatrical productions and jazz. After completing high school, she moved to Philadelphia, where she enrolled at the University of the Arts, connected with her Cuban roots (via her grandfather’s compositions) and majored in Jazz Vocal Performance....
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Pew Fellowship 2008
”This music is truly refreshing to hear, each track takes the listener deeper into her world, from the beautiful Tender Shepherd, to the Columbia Pa' Miguel Angel. Venissa Santi is definitely a vocalist the world needs to check out!” —Doc Gibbs, percussionist/musical director of the Emeril Live Band

“Bienvenida” es muy sabroso! Such a pleasure to listen to as a complete start- to-finish performance. Filled with many surprises. Venissa’s voice is mixed beautifully with a coy yet sultry nuance. As an old radio announcer I am impressed with her microphone technique. It is very intimate but perfectly controlled . The arrangements and musical selections are excellent and the band is perfect.” —Stan Dunn, Radio KJAZ San Francisco/

“Venissa Santi- is a refreshing spirit, an extraordinarily talented and diverse musician with a knack for making the unexpected so welcome, so understood. Bienvenida is not only a rich offering of gorgeous familiar and original melodies, it is a testament to the art of blending old and new wrapped in the warmth of her sensual voice. With her stellar supporting cast, Santi gives us new sound that defies borders, language and categorization. This album is a treasure, as is this gifted singer-songwriter.” —Rebeca Mauleon, Latin Jazz Pianist/Author/Educator

“Venissa brings an evocative fresh sound to Latin rhythms. Her compositions and arrangements are inflected with a jazz sensibility, adding texture and depth to her music. Definitely an album to have, and a voice to listen for!” —Elio Villafranca, Cuban Jazz pianist

”...Venissa Santi of Philadelphia is excellent. I think we’re going to hear a lot from this young lady!” —Ruben Blades,

“When I hear a singer like Venissa Santi ...what I love is her audacity that in a song like this there doesn’t exist limitations, such that this is a Bolero and it should be played with bongos etc. so she breaks those standards and introduces it as a Blues... When music is made with a sense of adventure and creativity you actually could affect how people think in the world …what she is doing impressively is breaking stereotypes and that fills me up with so much satisfaction and so much energy to continue ahead, ...knowing that there are no routines and that things should be interpreted in a certain way. I would love to go to Chicago and see a blues player try to sing “Como Fue” it’s incredible. Her voice has a tone that is very original and very special. I believe you hear that voice and you won’t forget it” —Danilo Perez, Latin Jazz Pianist/Composer

“This young woman has chops, singing with passion and gusto in the band's own composition, “Malecon” and an off the hook rendition of “Yambú”. I mean not just her voice, but her stage presence and when she started moving those hips, Oh Lord, I think all the guys in unison said, “Oh yeah! She's Cuban”. This was a great opening act and a good sign of things to come. Hopefully, they'll be back to the New York area soon. By the way, they come from Philly”. —Omar Walker,

Discography: Bienvenida. (Unreleased) First solo recording. A bilingual album of jazz and Cuban standards, Afro-Cuban folkloric songs, Rumba with original songs in English, Boleros dressed in the blues, and jazz, standard/Afro-Cuban bembe to name a few. Written and arranged by Venissa Santi. Recorded October 29 and December 10 2006 at Radio Active Productions, Philadelphia PA. Produced by Venissa Santi. Co-Produced, engineered and mixed by Daoud Shaw. Featuring: The 'Rodriguez Brothers' Robert and Michael Rodriguez-piano and trumpet, and Yunior Terry-bass, Francois Zayas-drums and Cuco Castellanos-congas.

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Primary Instrument:

Philadelphia, PA

Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students

Concentration in Jazz and Latin styles of singing and repertoire. Classical based, healthy, contemporary techniques for todays singer. Breath control, development of the "one voice." Vocal improvisation, ear training, vocal work outs, lyric interpretation, performance/mic technique (Stage and Studio), Chorus, Music Appreciation (kids), Afro-Cuban/rumba singing, partial list.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
Vocal Jazz
Latin Styles

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Date Venue Ticket
Apr26 Chris' Jazz Cafe
Philadelphia, PA

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Featured recording “Bienvenida”

Sunnyside Records (2009)

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