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Vanessa Brown



Vanessa Brown


Vanessa Brown has been described using such words as “dynamic”, “versatile”, “outstanding”, and “impressive”.  As one of a handful of professional female percussionists, she makes quite a striking impression in any performance medium.  Vanessa is not only a percussionist, but also a set drummer, violinist, vocalist, music librarian, and music proofreader.

Vanessa was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She is a graduate of UCLA with a B.A. degree in Music Performance, specializing in Percussion.

Her career has taken her all over the world.  She has performed with such artists as Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., Della Reese, Charles Aznavour, Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jennifer Holliday, Frank Sinatra (Sr. and Jr.), Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Nell Carter, and Sammy Davis Jr.  She has been involved with many musical theatre productions (The Color Purple, Little Shop of Horrors, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, The Lion King-Los Angeles, Twist), television shows and specials (Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, Arista Record’s 25th, Ebony Magazine’s 50th, AFI 100’s, America’s Millennium, Celebration at Ford’s Theater), award shows (Academy (Oscars), Emmy, Grammy, American Music, Essence, NAACP Image, People’s Choice, Billboard, McDonald’s Gospelfest) stage shows/concerts (The Colors of Christmas, Best of Broadway, Tribute to Jerry Leiber), Video Game “Live” Concerts (Distant Worlds, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts), films (Love!Valor!Compassion!, La Bamba, There Are No Children Here, Private Parts), and recordings (Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Jennifer Holliday, Della Reese, Ami Rushes, Beverly Crawford, Norman Hutchins).  Vanessa toured for ten years performing all over the world for five years with Barry Manilow (percussion/violin/vocals) and five years with Shirley MacLaine (percussion).

Vanessa currently works as an independent musician in Los Angeles and is still much involved with her church, theatre, award shows, studio recordings, television specials, and shows.  She was music librarian for Natalie Cole and is the music librarian for Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., and for Thelma Houston.

Professional Experience

  • Broadway
  • Off Broadway
  • Regional
  • Concerts/Cabaret
  • Education
  • TV/Film
  • Tours


  • LA/Southern California
  • United Kingdom

Interested in touring?

  • Yes

Hireable as

  • Pit Musician (Other)
  • Music Contractor/Coordinator
  • Actor-Musician
  • Other

My Primary Instrument

  • Percussion

My Instruments

  • Drums
  • Percussion
  • Violin
  • Voice


  • Finale
  • Sibelius




  • She/Her