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. Weaving together blues, soul, R+B, jazz and pop, Ghent creates a unique blend of her musical influences into a single force of talent. 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', Ghent treats us to soulful, romantic, highly melodic music rendered with passion, sincerity, undeniable skill and a mighty heart.
An outstanding live performer, Valerie 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 3½ 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, 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. In addition, 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 and George Benson.
Literally a whirlwind of musical energy, in addition to her own music career Ghent continues to perform and record with Valerie Simpson, recorded Simpson’s newest CD and mixed a duet with Simpson and the late, great Nina Simone in the South of France. Val is also the founder of Songwriter’s Beat, a monthly night for performing songwriters now in its 12th year and director of the arts education nonprofit Feel the Music!, which she founded after volunteering during the 9/11 recovery. Ghent has received multiple awards, grants and commissions including the Betances Award for Service to the Arts, composed music for three off-Broadway musicals with Emmy award-winning director, William Electric Black and has traveled to China multiple times to study internal martial arts. She is a certified instructor of Qi Gong, Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan and as photographer, has collaborated on five books.