Vanessa Ferguson

by Brian Clarey

We found her in a bar, of course – Churchill’s on a Saturday night, where she was wailing a siren’s song on the stage against the wall, her voice blending with Jeremy Johnson and William Trice to revive a feel-good groove from an era gone by. Her voice floats and wails and pleads and moans. Vanessa has serious chops. The girl from Brooklyn, NY is a sophomore at NC A&T majoring in music; she was named that university’s Omega Idol last year after a tough-won competition, sealing the deal with her rendition of “Never Gonna Let You Go.” She’s on this stage with Solcet Free a couple weekends a month, and has plenty of side gigs to plug, most notably Dec. 3 at the Renaissance Jazz Café with the Collective and the NC A&T production of the Langston Hughes play Black Nativity. “When I’m singing, when I’m doing a gig, that’s basically it,” she says. “I don’t do anything else.”