Nancy Valentine Sings Billy Strayhorn

Event Off Sale: Tickets off sale. Please call 212-581-3080 for reservations.

Nancy Valentine Sings Billy Strayhorn

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm


Off Sale

There is a $10.00 food or drink minimum per person. Dinner is served between 5pm-1am.

Nancy Valentine
Nancy Valentine
Nancy Valentine - Vocals
John di Martino - Arranger/Musical Director/Pianist
Joe Magnarelli - Trumpet
Dan Block - Tenor Sax/Alto Sax
Marco Panascia - Bass
Vince Cherico - Drums

Photo Credit - Chris Drukker

Nancy Valentine Sings Billy Strayhorn!

“Nancy Valentine is an expressive, tasteful, and versatile jazz singer who has a very appealing voice that is quite haunting. She is a perfect match for the music of Billy Strayhorn, performing many of his lesser-known songs and casting new light on both his melodies and his lyrics. Her new recording, LOVESOME, is one of the best jazz vocal albums to be released in 2017.”--- Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of The Jazz Singers

Nancy Valentine, who makes her Birdland debut on Sunday July 2, has studied and championed Billy Strayhorn’s music for years. Not content to sing his “greatest hits” such as “Lush Life” and “Take The ‘A’ Train,” Ms. Valentine unearths and does justice to many of his more obscure but superior works that have rarely, if ever, been performed. At Birdland she will be celebrating the release of her CD LOVESOME (Nancy Valentine Sings The Music Of Billy Strayhorn) and her single “September Rain,” which features Lorraine Feather’s lyrics to “Chelsea Bridge.”

While LOVESOME is Ms. Valentine’s debut jazz recording, she has gained extensive experience as a performer since her teenage years. She had earlier careers as a trumpeter and an actress until she was convinced by renowned trumpeter Bobby Shew that she had the perfect voice to be a jazz singer and inspired her to ‘keep the love and romance’ in her approach to the music. While Sarah Vaughan and Chet Baker were early influences, she has long had a sound of her own, gaining experience in both Los Angeles (where she met and learned from the great arranger, composer and pianist Tamir Hendelman) and New York, where she met the outstanding composer-arranger John di Martino, a pianist beloved by all vocalists and known as one of the world’s most lyrical pianists. Both, di Martino and Hendelman would become Valentine’s musical directors and pianists on the LOVESOME CD, creating beautiful and memorable arrangements that capture the essence of Strayhorn. Also part of the all-star cast on LOVESOME are bassists Boris Kozlov, Jay Leonhart and Marco Panascia, drummers Victor Jones, Kenneth Washington and Tony Jefferson, trumpeters Joe Magnarelli and Dominick Farinacci, cornetist Warren Vache, tenor-saxophonist Harry Allen, altoist Dick Oatts and baritonist Gary Smulyan.

It was John di Martino who first introduced Valentine to “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” and “Something To Live For,” that hooked her on Strayhorn. Blessed with the ability to effortlessly sing the wide intervals in many of Strayhorn’s songs, she immersed herself in his music, uncovering such little-known gems including “Maybe,” “Oo! You Make Me Tingle,” “So This Is Love,” “Wounded Love,” “You Better Know It,” and “You’re The One.” Her beautiful voice and deep understanding of the lyrics demonstrate that there is a great deal to be discovered and enjoyed within Strayhorn’s repertoire.

At Birdland, Nancy Valentine will be leading a sextet with maestro John di Martino gracing the stage featuring trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, Dan Block on tenor and alto saxophones, bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Vince Cherico. They will be celebrating both the release of her LOVESOME CD and her “September Rain” single, and the rich musical legacy of Billy Strayhorn.