Valerie Ghent — Music

Singer, songwriter, musician, producer, recording engineer and outstanding live performer, Valerie Ghent’s unstoppable personality is rich with over 25 years collaboration with some of the biggest names in music. A native New Yorker with a stunning 3 1/2 octave vocal range and piano chops to match, Valerie weaves together blues, soul and jazz into a breathtaking tapestry of “soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy.”

Longtime keyboardist/vocalist/recording engineer with music legends Ashford & Simpson, it’s no surprise Valerie has performed/recorded with Nina Simone, Dr. Maya Angelou, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Billy Preston, Sir Cliff Richard, Defunkt & Roberta Flack. Working closely with R&B royalty Ashford & Simpson for over two decades, Valerie recorded and learned from the greats: Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Wilson Pickett, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, George Benson, Nile Rogers and more.

As solo artist Valerie has written and produced five albums, four singles, launching a smash #1 hit with Love Enough for a Lifetime. Soultracks awarded her album Velours one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016, and her single New York City Streets hailed as “a new anthem for NYC”. Valerie regularly tours and records in France (performing in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Aix, Cannes, Toulon) where her 2018 single, Feelin Alright, hit #1 on Jazz Radio France. Her popularity in Europe resulted in the release of The French Sessions, her first album on a French label.

Born in New York City, Valerie grew up in SoHo and Greenwich Village surrounded by music: her father a pioneer of electronic music, her mother, born in Paris, violist with American Ballet Theatre, and neighbor legendary jazzman Ornette Coleman. Valerie began writing songs as a child, recording in her father’s studio, absorbing her mother’s string quartet rehearsals and falling asleep to Ornette’s music, as he lived and rehearsed in the same building. Cutting her teeth in the underground NYC music scene at CBGB’s, The Ritz and Peppermint Lounge, Valerie opened for bands like Depeche Mode and Robert Gordon, and learned record production and Synclavier/Direct-to-Disk with platinum record producer Mike Thorne (Soft Cell, The Communards, Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithful).

After four years in the studio, Valerie began touring, soon landing a world tour with Debbie Harry (Blondie). At the same time Valerie began a decades-long musical relationship singing, playing keyboards and recording with Ashford & Simpson as their personal recording engineer. In addition, Valerie composed music for three off-off Broadway musicals (with sold-out runs at LaMama ETC, Theatre for the New City).

With a deep love for fostering creativity, supporting artists and a lifelong commitment to building community through music, Valerie created and runs Songwriter’s Beat – presenting over 400 singer-songwriters to new audiences – and co-founded nonprofit Feel the Music!, bringing music to hundreds of children, families and seniors impacted by trauma, illness and loss. Valerie has received numerous grants and awards, including American Music Center, The ASCAP Foundation and the Betances Award for Service to the Arts. A longtime member of ASCAP, Valerie is a voting member of The Recording Academy and member of both the Producers & Engineers wing and Songwriters wing of the Academy, and a member of SACEM (France).

Valerie’s recent collaborations include duets with dan tranh master Tri Nguyen, Italian rap artist The Bumo Sugo, French writer Christophe Fourvel and a remote "Live in Lockdown" video series with her band in France. Valerie is currently writing and recording her sixth and seventh albums.

“Ghent, herself, is a vocal phenomenon…she has the professionalism and rippling, effervescent energy of a top pop/rock star.” – NY Cabaret Today

“Ghent sings from the guts. Her contralto rises with the smooth momentum of something out of NASA.” – Woman About Town

“Valerie’s dazzling soprano…simultaneously delicate, gracious, and allusive, “The Angel” is a superb work of art.” – Muzique Magazine

Valerie Ghent Solo Artist Releases: Unstoppable (1996), Day to Day Dream (2012), Supernatural Thing (2013*), Muse (2014), Velours (2016), The French Sessions (2017), Feelin’ Alright (2018*), I'm Calling feat. Tri Nguyen (2020*), Online w/ Italian rap artist the Bumo Sugo (2021*), The Angel feat. Natasha Ghent (2021*). (*-single)