Mia Vermillion’s emergence onto the blues scene caught the immediate attention of critics and others in the blues world. “Vermillion is a fresh and welcome arrival on the blues (and jazz) scene. The full depth of her talent has yet to be seen,” according to AllAboutJazz.com’s Michael Bailey. “She infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horn.”
After taking a hiatus to recover from an injury last year, Mia is back in full force in 2011 with performances at the largest blues festival on the west coast: the Safeway Waterfront Blues festival, and Seattle’s premier blues and jazz venue Jazz Alley opening for Grammy nominee and Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Hammond.
Mia has been influenced by the musical statements of Ann Wilson of Heart, Lil Green, Billie Holiday, Rickie Lee Jones and the like. After playing and writing her own music on the outskirts of the evolving Seattle music scene during her youth, she moved to California as a young adult to further pursue her music. Life choices brought her to pursuing an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Idaho, home to the Lionel Hampton School of Music. Mia devoted time to raising children and running her own music and recording studio, all the while continuing to write music and refine her own unique style of sensuous, earthy blues and jazz. In 2009, Mia entered the studio to create the album she had always envisioned: Alone Together With the Blues.
While performing primarily as a solo act with her guitar, Mia sought out and began to work with some of the Seattle’s best musicians. She focused on working with musicians who matched her own acoustic style and rhythms: a sensuous melded blend of acoustic blues, folk and jazz. Mia and guitar/dobro master Orville Johnson won the Washington Blues Society’s blues challenge in the Solo/Duo category allowing them to represent the Society at the Blues Foundation’s 26th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Her music choices feature songs from blues and early jazz artists such as Ma Rainy, Lil Green, Mary Ann Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, Cecil Gant, Billy Holiday to list just a few. Mia adds her own compositions to musical sets in a perfect balance to the blend and style of music.
Mia released her self-produced, debut album Alone Together With the Blues in June 2009. The record gained national attention making the Roots Music Report blues radio chart top 50 for two weeks at #45 and #46, as well as reaching #2 on XM Radio B.B. King’s Bluesville’s ‘Picks to Click’ with her recording of ‘I’m Going to Copyright Your Kisses.’ “This album is a well-thought, well-planned, economical, and astronomical first release for this artist… She’s got a magnificent voice that is on par with any ladies I’ve heard today,” stated blues critic Ben Cox in Blues Blast Magazine.
Mia has been recognized for her vocals and works in composition and songwriting and is a showcased singer/songwriter of the blues. She has performed for audiences throughout the Northwest at different venues and festivals as well as in Beijing, China as part of a cultural exchange with musicians from around the globe. She has been very active with her music in women’s causes and served as Vice President of Skagit Habitat for Humanity Women’s’ Build. Mia has been able to use her talents in aiding to raise funds for those women who are ‘heads of households’ and that qualify for Habitat home construction.
“My songs and song choices come from my personal knowledge and life’s experiences, the joy of music and life, and the huge satisfaction of recognizing and providing feminine value and perspective in it all,” says Mia. “I approached making my first album as a way for me to open myself up to possibilities.”