Vanessa Lawicki-Vache was born and raised in the Cleveland Ohio area. She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, studying with the notable professors Leon Russianoff and Charles Neidich. Her studies included intensive training in orchestral and chamber music, from classical to contemporary styles. During that time she attended the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Spoleto Festival and played with the Richmond Symphony. After completion of college she took a position as principal clarinetist with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de la Republica Dominicana, in Santo Domingo. After returning to the United States, Ms.Vache embarked upon a fast paced, word traveled career with the Air Force Bands.
It was due to a severe embouchure injury that she was forced to put down the clarinet for a few years, to later re-learn how to play. It was during that difficult time she switched instruments to the baritone saxophone, which was less strenuous on the muscle tear, but very demanding in that she had to experience an unknown style - jazz. While living in Germany, stationed with the Air Force Band of Europe, Ms. Vache performed the standard big band music, saxophone quartet, merengue and salsa. She traveled extensively through all parts of Europe, including eastern Europe.
After returning to the United States to be stationed with the Air Force Reserve Band in Warner Robins, Georgia, Ms. Vache underwent a muscle repair surgery, in what was then a very new field of musicians’ medicine. The surgery was a success, but the recovery period was long, discouraging and slow. While recovering, she joined Dixie Express, the Air Force Bands Dixieland group, which traveled throughout the southeastern US. This ensemble was a perfect fit for the recovery process, as it allowed for extreme flexibility in the physical part of playing. Performance with Dixie Express did, however, demand the terrifying experience of playing music with “no notes on the page,” reading from a lead sheet. This started Vanessa Vache’s next musical phase of learning improvisation, which lasted until Ms.Vache finished her tour of duty with the United States Air Force Bands and joined civilian life in Orlando, Florida.
As an Orlando clarinetist, Ms. Vache has played with the Brevard Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, various other shows and musical ensembles, and is currently serving as principal clarinetist of the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, clarinetist with the Walt Disney World Orchestra, and recorder player with the Orlando Early Music Group. Vanessa Vache has always had the recorder and various early music ensembles as a part of her life. Recently she attended the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College and has studied with Michael Lynn. She has taught on the faculty of Rollins College and McCoy Elementary School and also maintains a private music lesson studio.
Vanessa Vache is married to jazz clarinetist Allan Vache, and her family includes daughter Alissa Castro, who plays percussion and sings, son Joel Castro, who plays percussion and string bass, stepdaughter Kim, who recently gave birth to triplets, and two black Labradors named Melody and Harmony.