Alyssa Medina has found her authentic voice in Colorado.
Alyssa Medina has found her authentic voice in Colorado. Photo courtesy of Old Dominion Photography

In December of 2016, a young woman stuffs all her belongings into her Toyota RAV4, drives 1,700 miles across country from Virginia to Colorado, and puts an ad on Craigslist seeking bands in need of a female vocalist. That was the path taken by Alyssa Medina, who has since become a sought-after singer. Three Days in the Saddle responded to Alyssa’s listing almost immediately, and invited her to become part of the band, a gig which has lasted for five years.

“Three Days in the Saddle was my first band, and it connected me to my musical family,” says Medina. “When I started per- forming, I was terrified, but that’s how you grow. Confidence in my stage presence has become second nature.”

A child of the ’90s, Alyssa’s musical tastes tended toward the pop genre with Christina Aguilera and Beyonce among her favorite artists. Alyssa’s own musical journey began as a singer in church and member of high school choirs which competed on the regional and state levels.

“A summer trip to Colorado to visit her college best friend opened a new world for Alyssa.”

When it came time for college, Alyssa chose Virginia Commonwealth University and a major in music. What seemed like a natural fit became too restricting. “I was training in the classical manner, singing opera and following a very structured program,” she says. “It was not what I had expected, and I did not enjoy it. I switched my major to psychology.” Other than an occasional open mic performance at a local brewery, Alyssa de-emphasized musical pursuits and made her career more of a priority, entering the left-brained industry of finance.

A summer trip to Colorado to visit her college best friend opened a new world for Alyssa. “I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was in the middle of July—no humidity, no bugs,” she laughs. “Plus, we saw String Cheese Incident’s three-day gig at Red Rocks. I was sold!”

Since beginning a new phase of life in Colorado eight years ago, a lot of opportunities have manifested for Alyssa. She has a full-time job with a FinTech company, and her music career has blossomed. While Three Days in the Saddle is retiring, performing with the band has fostered key collaborations with a variety of local musicians, including piano player and singer Ben Rafferty of the Cosmic Charlies. Alyssa and Ben are the popular duo Violet Breeze, a name inspired by Alyssa’s Miniature Dachshund, Violet. Violet Breeze enjoys a busy schedule locally at Cactus Jack’s Saloon & Grill and the Woodcellar Bar & Grill, and at several venues along the Front Range. Alyssa also sings with Dr. Poz and Friends.

Evergreen is one of her favorite places to perform. “Evergreen is such a music-loving town,” she explains. “People come out and give us the most genuine support and appreciation.” Alyssa is especially drawn to the

annual Holiday Walk. “I’ve played at the Christmas Walk for two years now and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “My dream is to record a Christmas album. I love the traditional music of the holidays. ‘Jingle Bells’ is my favorite.” Performing with a variety of musicians

has broadened Alyssa’s repertoire and has developed her musical preferences. She has become more attracted to classic rock and strong female singers like Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. Lately, Alyssa’s song list has included “When Will I Be Loved” and other material from Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel album. Tedeschi Trucks Band has influenced Alyssa as well. She and guitarist James Dumm are launching Revelator, a Tedeschi Trucks tribute band which has been invited to the Cervantes Tribute Band Festival in June.

Pianist Ben Rafferty is Alyssa's musical collaborator in Violet Breeze.
Pianist Ben Rafferty is Alyssa’s musical collaborator in Violet Breeze.

Even with a full-time job and active performance schedule, Medina makes time for other creative pursuits. She designs jewelry under the label of Jackarose Designs and wears many of her own pieces on stage. Alyssa has also been allocating more time to songwriting. “I’ve only been in cover bands, and I want to have my own version of what I do,” she says. “Songwriting is super therapeutic and emotional for me. I’ll be singing a few notes in my head and then I’ll record the melody on my phone. As the melodies come to me, so do certain words and I begin to fall in love with a lyric. My ultimate goal is to leave this world a song or two to enjoy on the universal plane.” Notes: Alyssa and Dr. Poz will be per- forming April 13 at Cactus Jack’s. Follow Alyssa and Violet Breeze on Facebook and Instagram. To contact Alyssa, go to her site,