I can’t remember any phase of my life when I wasn’t singing, says this Bronx- born singer, who counts as his first influences giants like Johnny Hartman and Erroll Garner. By his own admission, those traditional artists eventually shared space with the likes of Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power. Indeed, his early gigs in New York —after first meeting future bassist Mike Boone when both were members of the Boys Choir of Harlem—were of the rhythm and blues variety at spots such as the Apollo, Sweetwater’s, The West End and Lennox Lounge. He returned to his jazz roots upon his arrival in Philadelphia to attend law school, and has worked most of the major clubs here. He describes his sound as an easy, effortless style that swings, and believes that his mission as an artist is to find those tunes and be part of the presentation that presents pictures with new colors.
Jazz Bridge is a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to assisting area Jazz and blues musicians in need. Their Jazz Bridge in Old City Philadelphia program is one in a series at this venue, along with four other area locales. For more details, visit Jazz Bridge.
Kevin Valentine is available for interviews: please call 610-745-3011 to arrange.