Powerhouse recording artist VALERIE GHENT 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, stunning 3 ½ octave vocal range, stellar production and engineering skills it’s no surprise that she has toured with music legends Ashford & Simpson and Debbie Harry, and worked with artists as diverse as Dr. Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Sir Cliff Richard, Defunkt and Billy Preston.
A native New Yorker, 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 became 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.
As solo artist Valerie has released five albums, including Day to Day Dream, which launched a #1 hit song on iHeart Radio, Love Enough for a Lifetime; Unstoppable, Muse, and Velours, named Soul Tracks 50 Best Albums of 2016. In 2017 Valerie released The French Sessions, her first release on a French label, and her song New York City Streets was named an “anthem for New York City“. Valerie’s sexy soul remake of Ben E. King’s hit, Supernatural Thing, was hailed both by critics and Haras Fyre (Patrick Grant), the original songwriter of Supernatural Thing along with Gwen Guthrie.
Valerie’s newest single is an electrifying remake of Dave Mason‘s soul-blues classic, Feelin Alright, recorded both in New York City and France and released April 27, 2018 and hit #1 on Jazz Radio France.
Valerie has produced several videos in locations around the world including Paris, Venice, the south of France and most recently New York City, in an ode to her native city.
A whirlwind of musical energy, in addition to her own music career Val continues to perform with Valerie Simpson and is the founder of nonprofit Feel the Music! and Songwriter’s Beat. Beginning her studies in Internal Chinese Martial Arts in 1995, Valerie has traveled to China multiple times to train and is a certified instructor of Qi Gong, Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan with Internal Arts International.
Valerie Ghent Short Bio
Powerhouse recording artist VALERIE GHENT is a New York singer, songwriter, producer, keyboard phenomenon who wows audiences with her emotive, evocative voice, piano chops to match, and “soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy.” An outstanding live performer, Valerie weaves together blues, soul, R+B, jazz and pop. With her stunning 3 1/2 octave range, listeners are treated to soulful, romantic, highly melodic music rendered with passion, undeniable skill and a mighty heart.
Valerie has toured with music legends Ashford & Simpson and Debbie Harry, and performed/recorded with artists as diverse as Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Defunkt. In addition to her newest single, Feelin’ Alright (2018), Valerie has produced five albums, including Day to Day Dream, which launched her #1 hit song on iHeart Radio, Love Enough for a Lifetime. Her album Velours, recorded in NYC and France, was named Soul Tracks Top 50 Albums of 2016, plus launched the hit song and video, New York City Streets, hailed by critics as a “New Anthem for NYC”. Valerie tours and records in France several times each year. Her popularity in Europe resulted in the release of The French Sessions (2017), her first album on a French label. valerieghent.com
“Ghent sings from the guts. Her contralto rises with the smooth momentum of something out of NASA.”- Woman About Town
More from Valerie's Life
Beginning her studies in Internal Chinese Martial Arts in 1995, Valerie traveled to China multiple times to train and is a certified instructor of Qi Gong, Xing Yi Quan & Ba Gua Zhang with Internal Arts International (IAI). IAI teaches and researches the authentic Chinese internal arts of Ba Gua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan and Qi Gong.
Valerie started Songwriter’s Beat in 2000 to support songwriters and encourage the creation of new songs. Songwriter’s Beat has presented over 350 songwriters from around the world, produced over 50 benefit concerts, seven annual festivals, dozens of songwriting workshops and has fostered the creation of hundreds of new songs.
Feel the Music!
Feel the Music! is a 501c3 nonprofit organization Valerie founded in 2005 to bring music to children, families and adults impacted by trauma, loss and illness. Originally created to serve the 9/11 community, Feel the Music! has since grown to serve hundreds of families, children & adults in hospitals, public schools & senior centers.