-The Philadelphia Inquirer

Kevin Valentine


Possessing an easy, effortless style that swings, Kevin's treatment of standards conveys an understanding for the culmination of melody, rhythm and lyric. While he loves standards, he does not think that they should be held in such esteem that they cannot grow and evolve. "Standards are not defined as being written between 1910 and 1950, they were just the pop songs of that day. Rodgers and Hart wrote standards but so did Linda Bell and Thom Creed. Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder and Sting all composed standards. Their pieces will be played 50 years from now and still sound fresh." Kevin says that his job as an artist is to "find those tunes and be a part of the presentation that paints the picture with new colors". Check out his work on Lennon and McCartney's "Money Can't Buy Me Love".

Growing up in the New York City presented Kevin with a wide array of musical opportunities and challenges. He was an early member of the Boys Choir of Harlem where, incidentally, he first met bass player Mike Boone. Kevin has done the requisite "Amateur Night at the Apollo" and performed at New York City clubs such as "Smoke", "Somethin' Jazz Cafe".

Arriving in Philadelphia to attend law school, Kevin expanded his jazz roots and began to soak up the rich jazz culture. He has performed with his own trio at Zanzibar Blue, the Pyramid Club, the Philadelphia Art Museum, SOUTH and the Paris Bistro. Recently he began a stint as male vocalist with the Monday Blue Jazz Orchestra and is often a guest vocalist at the Four Season's or Loew's Solefood Restaurant. Kevin loves the impromptu nature of jam sessions and can often be heard at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus (until it closed-dammit!), Chris' Jazz Cafe or Philly's new jazz gem SOUTH. Kevin feels fortunate to be in Philadelphia at this time ("The jazz scene in Philly is fertile, where else can you go and sit or do your own gigs with Lee Smith, Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield or Terrel Stafford. Working with those guys challenges you as a vocalist"). Kevin's CD "JazzVox" provides insight intvo his approach to the music. In 2013, Kevin was nominated for Best Male Jazz Vocalist of 2013 by the Clef Club of Philadelphia.



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-The Philadelphia Inquirer