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Teraesa Vinson: Bio

Some musicians take the road less traveled on their creative journey, and vocalist Teraesa Vinson has a unique perspective on following one’s bliss. The St. Louis native actually completed a B.A. in Psychology at Spelman College and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology before deciding to pursue her musical aspirations. After a time teaching other students to follow their dreams, she decided maybe it was time she heeded her own advice. Since landing in New York in 2003, Vinson has embraced every opportunity to improve her craft.

After a relatively short stint in the city, Vinson got the chance to record for the first time in 2004. That debut, Opportunity Please Knock, was an occasion to record with some outstanding musicians: Ron Blake, Tom Dempsey, Carlton Holmes, Nicki Parrott, and Dion Parson. The combination of well-loved standards, less recorded gems (Moon Ray) and a pop favorite (I Can’t Make You Love Me) attracted both traditional jazz enthusiasts and a more mainstream audience. Moreover, the album was critically well-received and earned airplay on radio stations across the globe.

Yet another great opportunity came Vinson’s way in 2005. That January, Vinson became the resident vocalist at Langans in Times Square. Singing alongside the phenomenal young drummer Quincy Davis and his trio, Vinson performed regularly with Davis for over two years in addition to playing other venues around the city.

Recently, Vinson recorded her follow-up project to Opportunity Please Knock. Aiming for a more intimate feel, the recording, titled Next To You, is a duet album with good friend and stellar guitarist Tom Dempsey. The two have collaborated since Vinson’s first performances, and Dempsey was also featured on her debut recording. The easy chemistry between the two, which frequently enchants their audiences, led itself to a notable sophomoric effort with critical success—including a coveted Best of 2008 mention in New York’s Village Voice.

Vinson continues to perform with Dempsey and other top notch musicians in New York and across the country, including a recent successful partnership with New York pianist Robert Cowie.