Singer and songwriter Vaneese Thomas recently performed at Porretta Soul Festival, an annual Italian music festival that took place this year from July 17 – 20, 2014.
The festival, known as the world’s premier festival for vintage soul music, is held in the center of Porretta Terme, a picturesque village in Northern Italy. The outdoor amphitheater where it takes place is named after Vaneese’s late father Rufus Thomas, who was the venue’s honored guest and featured performer for many years.
The Porretta Soul Festival acknowledges the importance of Memphis’ contributions to Soul Music, particularly during the 1960s and 70s. Remarkably, half a century after the height of soul music in Memphis, and thousands of miles away, that sound is still celebrated in this tiny Italian town.
Since it started in 1987, the Porretta Soul Festival has featured mostly Memphis artists such as The Bar-Kays, the Bo-Keys, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and musician Marvell Thomas. This year, Vaneese Thomas will play alongside Memphis and Mid-South artists such as Toni Green and Denise Lasalle.
Vaneese’s latest album, “Blues For My Father”, is dedicated to her legendary father as an R n’ B pioneer whose work will never be forgotten. What better place to hear her sing the amazing tracks on the album than at Rufus Thomas Park!