Fresh off intensive summer martial arts training in China and ready to rumble, NYC recording artist Valerie Ghent celebrates the release of her highly anticipated new album, Velours, with a full-band performance of renowned French and American musicians at Joe’s Pub at the Public on Saturday, October 29th, 7:30 pm.
Hailed by reviewers at her last Joe’s Pub performance as “Valerie Ghent is a True Rockstar at Joe’s Pub” and “Ghent’s show was enthralling and pure excitement” (NY Cabaret Today), mark your calendars for this one night only performance and get your tickets today!
On her fourth solo album, Velours, Valerie draws on the full range of her talents forged over 20+ years working with music luminaries Ashford & Simpson, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Debbie Harry & Billy Preston to deliver a breathtaking, spell-binding performance that draws the listener in and never lets go.
Returning to the smooth sound that has won her fans around the globe with her iHeart Radio #1 hit song, Love Enough for a Lifetime, Velours is sure to become Valerie’s most iconic album yet.
In this electrifying mix of R n’ B, funk, reggae and smooth soul, Ghent fully unleashes her 3 and 1/2 octave vocal range, powerful keyboard chops and her distinctive voice that can hurtle into the stratosphere, whisper in your ear or fall into a low croon at will. These talents, combined with her undeniable authenticity, vitality and joy, her sterling record production, the strength of her songwriting and engineering skills, and her radiant physicality as a performer shaped by years of martial arts training, make Valerie a force to be reckoned with.
Velours is set for release October 21 on iTunes, amazon and CDBaby. Pre-orders begin September 23.
Recorded in the South of France and NYC, the 11 original songs on Velours propel the listener from the transcendent luminosity and opening invocation of Love Divine to the exuberant Get Funkay, from the unstoppable New York City Streets to the heart-stopping ballad, Light in My Life. The mesmerizing funk groove of title song Velours literally flows into the American-songbook inspired Linger (with accompanying string quartet), while future R n’ B classic It’s Got To Be You plays smooth counterpoint to the reggae-inspired Phased and the gospel blues of 30 Days. The deep groove of On & On flows like a river, and Love Will Keep Me Strong brings us back to the source.
Backed up by a band of internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists from New York City, France and Senegal, Velours takes the listener on a journey through smooth soul, feel-good R n’ B, intimate ballads, sun-drenched reggae and pure funk. With A-list musicians playing live on each song, Valerie has conjured up a hot, real, live sound that harkens back to old-school days, recording live with real musicians, delivering killer lead vocals alongside the band. As one fan aptly described, Valerie makes “music you can touch”.
Why the French spelling? “That’s a great question! My mother was born in Paris and I’ve been retracing her steps there. Velours actually began in France – we recorded six songs with my French band, then five songs in New York. The entire album was mixed in the French countryside by Jérôme Buigues, in a studio surrounded by Provençal vineyards. Plus the title song comes from French slang. So it made total sense to me to go with the French spelling.”
How do you pronounce Velours? Leave off the ‘s’ and say “veh-loooor”. A French word with the same meaning in English: smooth, velvety, velour. Exactly how you’ll feel after listening to Valerie Ghent.
A-list musicians on Velours include Tinker Barfield (Luther Vandross, Ashford & Simpson) on bass, guitarists Robin Macatangay (Hamilton, Lizz Wright) & Jérôme Buigues (Murray Head, Sir Cliff Richard), percussionist Bashiri Johnson (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston), keyboardist/arranger Rob Mounsey (Madonna, Paul Simon), drummers Kevin Johnson (Curtis Mayfield, Cassandra Wilson), Philippe Jardin (Ray Lema, Gerard Blanc) & Franck Taieb (Daniel Levi), organist/harmonicst Pierre Sibille (Blues’ UP), vocalists Alfa Anderson (Chic, Luther Vandross), Keith Fluitt (Nona Hendryx, Roberta Flack), Dennis Collins (Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder), John James (Toto, Elton John), Ada Dyer (Chaka Kahn, Roberta Flack), cellist Dave Eggar (Coldplay, Beyonce), violinist/violist Katie Kresek (Adele, Alicia Keys), trumpeters Steven Bernstein (Hot Nine, Levon Helm) & Marc Borlet-Hôte (Massak, Keziah Jones), saxophonist Paul Shapiro (Jay-Z, Lou Reed), Nicolas Baudino (Lio, Harry Morse Project), baritone saxophonist Briggan Krauss (Eliot Sharp, Wayne Horvitz), trombonist Dan Levine (Ray Charles) and a special guest performance by Senegalese vocalist Mano Korani Camara.
What’s the martial arts connection? Valerie is longtime student of Chinese martial arts, training which helps fuel the indomitable spirit inherent in her music. Her August 2016 trip to China to train with Master Zhao Da Yuan has solidified her training and will undoubtedly add an extra ‘punch’ to her Joe’s Pub performance.
For tickets, visit: joespub.com or call , 10am-7:00pm, Daily 212-967-7555
In Person Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC (opens daily at 2pm). DiRECT TICKET LINK:http://tinyurl.com/hu3gd8k
About Valerie Ghent
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.” A native New Yorker with a bluesy, funky piano style and a stunning 3 1/2 octave range, it’s no surprise she has toured with music legends Ashford & Simpson and Debbie Harry and performed with artists as diverse as Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, Iggy Pop and Defunkt.
Valerie’s Day to Day Dream album launched a #1 hit song on iHeart Radio with Love Enough for a Lifetime, was added nationwide on Sirius XM, national radio in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the BBC and 100+ radio stations across the EU/UK/AU. Her single Supernatural Thing made the Top 40 on NBT Music Radio (Germany). Fans around the world eagerly await her 2016 release, Velours, recorded in France and NYC.
A native New Yorker with four 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 SoHo building.
Longtime keyboardist, vocalist and recording engineer for legendary hit singer-song writers Ashford & Simpson, Val worked closely with the duo for over two decades, recording their music as well as collaborations with Angelou, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Sir Cliff Richard and many others. Literally a whirlwind of musical energy, in addition to her own music career Valerie continues to perform and record with Valerie Simpson, is founder of Feel the Music!, an arts education nonprofit and travels regularly to China to further her studies of the internal Chinese martial arts.
“Ghent sings from the guts. Her contralto rises with the smooth momentum of something out of NASA.”
– Woman About Town
“Ghent, herself, is a vocal phenomenon…she has the glistening, effervescent energy of a top pop/rock star.”
– NY Cabaret Today