Arts & Leisure

VOH reopens in person with ‘Queens of the Blues’

GINA COLEMAN AND the Misty Blues Band will perform live at the Vergennes Opera House on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m.

The first show of the year 2022 to take place in the Vergennes Opera House will pay tribute to four amazing female Jazz/Blues singers. Gina Coleman and her formidable voice bring to life jazz/blues legends Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and Koko Taylor. Coleman, backed by the Misty Blues Band, performs live on the Vergennes Opera House stage on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. Opening for Coleman and Misty Blues Band will be Vermont musicians DonnCherie and Paul Boffa.

“This is a fitting show for us to ‘reopen’ with, especially since March is Women’s History Month,” said Gerianne Smart, President of the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House. “The theater has been quiet since just before Christmas, so we are anxious to get things opened again, fill the space with music and joy, and celebrate four jazz/blues legends in the process.”

The entire event is being produced in partnership with the Vermont Blues Society (VBS), a non-profit organization formed some years ago by Vermont Blues musicians to keep the community connected and to promote blues music.

“Women were the first recording artists to bring blues music to the attention of the American public and that tradition has continued throughout the history of blues music,” said Tom Buckley, Chairman of VBS. “There is no one better than Gina Coleman to bring that tradition to the Vermont stage. The Vermont Blues Society is thrilled to welcome this tribute to the rich heritage of women singing the blues to the Vergennes Opera House!”

This will be the second time Coleman has performed on the Vergennes Opera House stage, having appeared most recently in the final performance of Bob Stannard and Those Dangerous Bluesmen held in November of last year.

“She was the only woman on the stage, performing with some of the top blues musicians in the state and she held her own and then some,” Smart added. “After the show she told me about her ‘Queens of the Blues’ production and before I locked up the theater for the night, I decided Gina needed to come back.”

About the Artists:

Gina Coleman and the Misty Blues Band is based out of Berkshire County, Mass., and plays original and traditional blues with hints of jazz, soul, funk and tent revival gospel. They band recently released their 11th album, “One Louder” to amazing reviews. The band has recorded with Charles Neville and Joe Louis Walker, and opened for contemporary blues artists like Tab Benoit, John Primer, Albert Cummings and Michael Powers. Misty Blues performs extensively throughout New England and has toured New York City, Harrisburg, Mishawaka, Knoxville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale, Memphis, New Orleans and Ontario, Canada. The band recently earned an Independent Blues Music Award nomination for the best contemporary blues song. The band’s original recordings have wide radio airplay in the U.S. and U.K.

Burlington-based artists DonnCherie and Paul Boffa will open for Gina Coleman and the Misty Blues Band. DonnCherie’s music is as eclectic as her many interests. An unrefined and soulful singer, she has a unique vocal style that is both fresh and familiar. She is influenced by rock, country, reggae and soul, but the blues is her first love. Paul Boffa, veteran performing artist/songwriter, appears regularly on Vermont stages. Teaming with DonnCherie marks a new collaboration in the studio — and now onstage in the Vergennes Opera House. 

Tickets are $20 and available at vergennesoperahouse.org. Doors and cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Current Covid safety protocols require that the audience be fully vaccinated (bring your vaccination card or photo image of your card on your phone) and wear a mask. 

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