New York resident Valerie Ghent is a popular singer and songwriter of pop/R&B/and soul who is on the independent West Street Records label and is making the charts with her album Supernatural and CD Day to Day Dream.
Band members include: Tinker Barfield, Kevin Johnson, Robin Macatangay, Ann Klein, Bashiri Johnson, Alfa Anderson, Keith Fluitt, Clayton Bryant, Dennis Moriarty, and Steven Bernstein.
Powerhouse recording artist VALERIE GHENT reaches deep into her NYC roots on her fifth self-produced CD, Day to Day Dream. A tour de force of driving piano, powerful vocals and a killer rhythm section, Val's hearty blues-soul groove electrifies these 11 original songs of love, determination & celebration. "Day To Day Dream is a stellar sixty minute effort. It's a confident album, a perfect showcase for Ghent's powerful voice."
Weaving together blues, soul, R+B, jazz and pop with her smoky 3 and 1/2 octave range, critics rave: "Ghent's got quite a voice, and it's her most powerful weapon on the album, hurtling into the stratosphere or falling into a low croon at will. Ghent howls, growls and snarls with precision and feeling."
Recorded with a live rhythm section of A-list musicians over a marathon two-day recording session, the album soars from the heart-stopping, bluesy title track to the lush 'Love Enough for a Lifetime'; from the driving piano & R&B thump of 'Wheels on a Train' to the South African-inspired 'Run Run Run', Valerie treats us to soulful, romantic, highly melodic music rendered with passion, sincerity, undeniable skill and a mighty heart.
An outstanding live performer, Ghent regularly wows audiences with her emotive, evocative voice, piano chops to match, and “soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy.” 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, Billy Preston, Iggy Pop and Defunkt.
The New York daughter of two musicians, Valerie grew up in SoHo and Greenwich Village, writing songs by age eight, 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. Longtime keyboardist/vocalist and recording engineer for R&B royalty Ashford & Simpson, Val worked closely with the songwriting duo for over two decades, recording their music as well as collaborations with Nina Simone, Sir Cliff Richard, Roberta Flack, Dr. Maya Angelou and many others.
Literally a whirlwind of musical energy, Ghent continues to perform and record with Valerie Simpson, recorded Simpson’s newest CD and mixed a duet with Simpson and Nina Simone in the South of France. Val is also the founder of Songwriter’s Beat, director of the arts education nonprofit Feel the Music! (which she founded after volunteering during the 9/11 recovery) and has received multiple awards, grants and commissions including the Betances Award for Service to the Arts. In addition, Ghent composed music for three off-Broadway musicals with Emmy award-winning director, William Electric Black, and traveled to China multiple times to study internal martial arts. Valerie is currently finishing her next CD of intimate piano/vocal ballads for release in 2013.
THE HOTTEST FIXTAPE ON THE NET
Every song i write is from the soul to touch other peoples souls
Nora Francesca Germain is a violinist based in Los Angeles, California.
Germain says, " I love jazz because it encompasses so many other types of music, although I believe in intent over genre. Listen on Spotify, my SoundCloud or the Music page. I am in my last year at The University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. To see where I'll be performing live, visit the Live page. I am planning to tour Europe in summer of 2014 with a trio, so please contact me if you want to tell me about a festival or club, etc!"
Germain has a 4 track E.P. out on Spotify and iTunes called "Let It Rip!" (2013) featuring her, John Storie (guitar), and Jon Alvarez (bass), recorded by Tommy King. In September, All About Jazz reviewed "Let It Rip!" and featured her interview with them called "Take Five With Nora Germain."
She also plays for or act in TV movies like Hallmark Channel's Strawberry Summer (2012). Also, was recently featured performing and speaking in the promotional short film (2013) about her mentor, teacher, and one of the world's greatest bass players, Marshall Hawkins. The full-length film is currently underway.
Germain adds, "I am an advocate for the performing arts. I love performing with my own groups or others' and I add videos as often as I can to YouTube. To get updates, sign up for the email list on the Connect Page. I'm on Twitter and Facebook and upcoming performances are listed on the Live Page. In October, our Duke Ellington Tribute Concert was reviewed by The San Diego Reader.
You can find Nora at: http://www.noragermain.com/
She has performed alongside many of today’s most esteemed musicians including Marshall Hawkins, Jonathan Batiste, Casey Abrams, Evan Christopher, and Bruce Forman.
Nora was born in 1991 in Madison, Wisconsin. Her mother and father are violinists and her grandmother is a cellist, and they all played in the Madison Symphony. She is one quarter Catalan by way of Barcelona. She began studying classical violin at the age of two and performed throughout Wisconsin and in Chicago during her childhood. After hearing Stephane Grappelli, she left home at 16 to attend Idyllwild Arts Academy, a boarding arts high school in Southern California, where she studied jazz music performance with Marshall Hawkins (bassist for Shirley Horn, Miles Davis). She graduated as Idyllwild Arts Academy's first jazz violin major.
She studied jazz violin at The New School in New York City and later moved to Los Angeles, where she was the first jazz violin major at Thornton School of Music at The University of Southern California. She has appeared as a guest performer on numerous occasions with vanguard jazz pianist Jonathan Batiste and The Stay Human Band, and has also been a recurring featured soloist with Seahawk MOJO (Modern Jazz Orchestra) under the direction of Marshall Hawkins. She performed on stage in the Hallmark TV movie Strawberry Summer (scored by Act of Valor Composer Nathan Furst), and has worked on multiple Hallmark Channel movies on camera or in the recording studio.
She performs live in the Los Angeles area with her own groups and as a sideman with Marshall Hawkins and Bob Boss as well. She released an E.P. in 2013 called "Let It Rip!" featuring John Storie on guitar and Jon Alvarez on bass. Her current ambitions are to travel the world playing jazz, and to collaborate with other musicians that have inspired her such as Martin Taylor, John Mayer, and Wynton Marsalis.
Nora Germain & Casey Abrams (above) - Why Don't You Do Right?