Powerhouse recording artist VALERIE GHENT regularly wows audiences with her emotive, evocative voice, piano chops to match, and “soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy.” With her bluesy, funky piano style and a stunning 3 ½ octave vocal range, it’s no surprise that she has toured with music legends Ashford & Simpson and Debbie Harry, and shared the stage with artists as diverse as Dr. Maya Angelou, Iggy Pop, Defunkt and Billy Preston.
A native New Yorker with five acclaimed CD’s on her own label, Valerie grew up in SoHo and Greenwich Village. Born into a musical family, she began writing songs as a child, recording in her father’s electronic music studio, absorbing her mother’s string quartet rehearsals and falling asleep to the music of Ornette Coleman, who lived and rehearsed in the same building.
After a 4-year apprenticeship with UK record producer Mike Thorne (Soft Cell, ‘til Tuesday, Communards, Laurie Anderson, Wire), Valerie went on to be keyboardist/vocalist and recording engineer for renowned hit singer-songwriters Ashford & Simpson. Working closely with the duo for over two decades, Val recorded their music as well as collaborations with Nina Simone, Sir Cliff Richard, Roberta Flack, Dr. Maya Angelou, Peabo Bryson and many others. Valerie mixed live-to-air “In the Spotlight”, Ashford & Simpson’s live weekly radio show on WRKS-FM (New York), where she recorded dozens of legendary artists, including Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Wilson Pickett, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Stephanie Mills, Freddie Jackson and George Benson.
Literally a whirlwind of musical energy, in addition to her own music career Val continues to perform with Valerie Simpson and is the founder of Songwriter’s Beat, a monthly night for performing songwriters. As director of Feel the Music! – an arts education nonprofit Val founded after volunteering during the 9/11 recovery – she has raised nearly one million dollars in funding and directs programming that continues to serve hundreds of children, families and adults. For her dedication in facilitating music and art for healing, Val has received multiple awards, grants and commissions including the Betances Award for Service to the Arts. During this period, Val composed music for three off-Broadway musicals with Emmy award winning director, William Electric Black. Beginning her studies in Internal Chinese Martial Arts in 1995, Valerie has since traveled to China multiple times to train. Today Val is a certified instructor of Qi Gong, Ba Gua and Xing Yi and as photographer, has collaborated on nine books.
Val’s CD, Day to Day Dream, is an 11-song album recorded with some of NYC’s top musicians. The first single, “Love Enough for a Lifetime,” hit #1 on iHeart Radio in 2013 and was added to Sirius XM Radio nationwide. Day to Day Dream was added to over 100+ radio stations in the EU/UK/AU, including national radio in Germany, Switzerland and Benelux. In 2013, Val’s sexy soul remake of “Supernatural Thing”, hit the Top 40 on NBT Radio (Germany). In 2014, Valerie released Muse, a solo piano/vocal album of 12 intimate ballads and duets, and her song “Buddy” was featured on a French blues compilation (BluesUP/France). In the same year she was invited to tour in France for the first time.
In 2016 Valerie released her fourth album Velours, to critical acclaim both in the USA and Europe, and will be touring in 2017.
Read Val’s biography in French HERE.
View Val’s discography HERE.