Introducing Dr. Valerie Capers

Dr. Valerie Capers is a preeminent pianist, vocalist, educator, composer, and arranger. After graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical composition and performance from The Juilliard School of Music, the first blind person to do so, Valerie undertook the next step in her musical career – learning to play jazz.

A naturally gifted musician, she has noted that dedication to the craft is necessary for success. In a Jazz Times interview with Sunsh Stein, she stated: “Developing your talent and skills is a very private and relentless thing. It doesn’t happen in a hurry. It’s very important to be organized, have discipline, and have an approach. Our ears are the most wonderful access to creativity and imagination because as musicians we hear everything, and those things get stored in some inner vault and come out in all sorts of ways we don’t expect.”


Critics’ Corner

 

“Miss Capers’ cantata, with its genuine jazz roots, is broadly in the vein of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. But while Mr. Ellington worked out of his own personal style, Miss Capers has found her sources in the entire spectrum of jazz and has used them very perceptively as part of a continuity rather than the miscellany of the Ellington Concerts.”
~John S. Wilson, The New York Times
“Left and right hands both played important roles in her sound, and she proved expert at developing tension and building dynamic statements in her solos. […] Spare, simple lines, sometimes abbreviated in unexpected places, were followed by involved, double-time statements. Quiet, singe-note phrases gave way to rich harmonic passages that turned expertly back to their founding theme.”
~Bill Kohlhaase, Los Angeles Times
“The work itself [Sing About Love] is a joyous, wonderfully wrought celebration of the Christmas spirit as seen through urban eyes. The presence of Miss Capers herself added to this listener’s enjoyment.”
~Raoul Abdul, New York Amsterdam News
“Jazz lovers have long known Valerie Capers as an outstanding pianist, singer, composer, and educator. But her newest album, Wagner Takes the ‘A’ Train, is sure to make her a favorite among opera lovers, too. The result is intoxicating.”
~Brian Kellow, Opera News
“One of the highlights of the evening was Capers’ recognition of the civil rights movement and its impact on John Coltrane. By way of introduction, Capers, who is blind, read (in Braille) of the 1963 bombing of a Baptist church in Alabama that resulted in the deaths of four young girls. Coltrane was inspired by the incident to write his profoundly moving “Alabama,” and the Capers ensemble did it justice, beginning with a solemn and powerful opening statement by Givens on tenor, followed by a mournful bowed bass solo, Capers’ gospel-flavored piano and a guitar solo that segued back to Givens on tenor. It was a stunning performance.”
~Tom Ineck, Berman Music Foundation – Jazz
“Surrounded by excellent musicians (John Robinson, Earl Williams, Alan Givens, Mark Marino), she produced a musical style of great elegance.”
~Dimanche Ouest-France, Nantes, France
UPCOMING EVENTS
LET THE KNOWING SPEAK (A CONCERT CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPOSERS)
JANUARY 28, 2017 AT 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
EASTSIDE COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL, 1041 MYRTLE ST, EAST PALO ALTO, CA 94303, USA (map)
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPOSER INITIATIVE
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE: HTTP://WWW.BROWNPAPERTICKETS.COM/EVENT/2718789
$20 ADULTS / $10 SENIORS / $5 STUDENTS
LET THE KNOWING SPEAK (A CONCERT CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPOSERS)
JANUARY 29, 2017 AT 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
EASTSIDE COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL, 1041 MYRTLE ST, EAST PALO ALTO, CA 94303, USA (map)
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPOSER INITIATIVE
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE: HTTP://WWW.BROWNPAPERTICKETS.COM/EVENT/2718789
$20 ADULTS / $10 SENIORS / $5 STUDENTS
VALERIE CAPERS TRIO / MIDDAY JAZZ
MARCH 22, 2017 AT 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
SAINT PETER’S CHURCH, 619 LEXINGTON AVENUE (@ EAST 54TH STREET), NEW YORK, NY, USA (map)
A $10 DONATION IS REQUESTED
VALERIE CAPERS DUO
MARCH 24, 2017 AT 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
KNICKERBOCKER BAR & GRILL, 33 UNIVERSITY PLACE (@ EAST 9TH STREET), NEW YORK, NY, USA (map)
(212) 228-8490 FOR RESERVATIONS
VALERIE CAPERS DUO
MARCH 25, 2017 AT 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
KNICKERBOCKER BAR & GRILL, 33 UNIVERSITY PLACE (@ EAST 9TH STREET), NEW YORK, NY, USA (map)
(212) 228-8490 FOR RESERVATIONS
VALERIE CAPERS ENSEMBLE IN CONCERT
MARCH 30, 2017 AT 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 2155 UNIVERSITY AVE, BRONX, NY 10453, USA (map)
GOULD MEMORIAL LIBRARY AUDITORIUM FREE TO THE PUBLIC
VALERIE CAPERS DUO
MAY 14, 2017 AT 10:00 AM – UNTIL
COMMUNITY UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION AT WHITE PLAINS, 468 ROSEDALE AVE, WHITE PLAINS, NY 10605, USA (map)
MOTHER’S DAY SERVICE
VALERIE CAPERS TRIO IN CONCERT
MAY 20, 2017 AT 8:00 PM – UNTIL
COMMUNITY UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION AT WHITE PLAINS, 468 ROSEDALE AVE, WHITE PLAINS, NY 10605, USA (map)
TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE: CUUCWP.ORG/CONCERT-SERIES
VALERIE CAPERS DUO
MAY 26, 2017 AT 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
KNICKERBOCKER BAR & GRILL, 33 UNIVERSITY PLACE (@ EAST 9TH STREET), NEW YORK, NY, USA (map)
(212) 228-8490 FOR RESERVATIONS
VALERIE CAPERS DUO
MAY 27, 2017 AT 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
KNICKERBOCKER BAR & GRILL, 33 UNIVERSITY PLACE (@ EAST 9TH STREET), NEW YORK, NY, USA (map)
(212) 228-8490 FOR RESERVATIONS