About Vanessa and the Jumping Monkeys

Vanessa Trien - vocals, acoustic guitar

Vanessa Trien - vocals, acoustic guitar

Photo by Liz Linder

Boston-based singer-songwriter and children's performer, Vanessa Trien, has become a local rock star among the young and young at heart. The "Nessa Groupies" sing and dance in the aisles at her packed shows with her lively band, the Jumping Monkeys, flock to her infant and toddler music education classes, and can't get enough of her two award-winning children's CDs, 'Carnival Day' and 'Hot Air Balloon.'  As Boston Children's Music puts it, "Vanessa's shows are perfect.  It's hard to explain and I can't quite put my finger on what it is they do differently, but whatever it is, it really gets the kids (and parents) excited!...She has some sort of magical energy that makes all of her shows super fun..." Vanessa is also Boston's best-kept secret because her rise in children's music coincided with her starting a family which, up until recently, has kept her relatively close to home.  But watch out because Vanessa and the Jumping Monkeys are broadening their touring circuit!

Meanwhile, looking back: Growing up in New York City, Vanessa Trien cut her musical teeth on family folk sing-alongs, but she blossomed while living in Costa Rica, singing, recording, and performing with an Afro-Caribbean band and later writing and performing her own material. A subsequent move to Boston introduced Trien into the heart of New England's thriving folk music scene. 'Wash Away,' Vanessa Trien's debut CD, was released in late 1998 to sold-out audiences at Cambridge's historic Club Passim.

As a complement to her career as a professional musician, Vanessa Trien has made a point of sharing her love of music through teaching and performing for primary and elementary school-aged children.  While serving as artist-in-residence for the New York City program LEAP (Learning Through An Expanded Arts Program), Trien designed and taught many different music and expressive arts projects in public elementary schools. One particular bright spot was the establishment of a second and third grade chorus in a Bronx elementary school that didn't have a music program. By the end of the school year, it was a flourishing and performing 50-student chorus!  

Vanessa Trien, who holds a master's degree in education from Harvard University, taught music at the Cambridge Montessori School, and is currently teaching "Music Together" classes in Brookline and Boston.