Vanessa Morris’ unique sound is a blend of many influences, ranging from Betty Carter and Nina Simone to Antonio Jobim and Al Green. Her musical background started with rigorous classical piano training. She branched into jazz during undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory and continued on this path when she attended New England Conservatory for graduate work in Jazz Studies. Ms. Morris' piano study and vocal study feed into one another, and this is evident in her teaching style. Piano students are encouraged to hear what they play and vocal students are encouraged to play what they sing. Improvisation demands a strong connection to the ear and deep analysis of theory. Ms. Morris emphasizes these facets in her teaching.

Ms. Morris repertoire is as eclectic as are her influences. She encourages her students to explore music that inspires them.

In addition to teaching at NEC, Ms. Morris also teaches Harmony classes and Private Voice lessons at Berklee College of Music. This year marks Ms. Morris’ fifteenth year teaching voice and piano at NEC.

B.M. in Piano Performance (Oberlin Conservatory), M.M., G.D. in Jazz Studies (NEC); studied with Sanford Margolis, Peter Takacs, Ran Blake, Dominique Eade, and John McNeil; freelance pianist and vocalist in the Boston area.

Photo by Cara Brostrom