The latest chapter….IS A WHIPPERSNAPPER!

 

WHALE HELLO FRIENDS!!!

2015 Has brought about big and wonderful changes for me—including commencing work on my DEBUT ALBUM: Songs For Young Whippersnappers!

This album marries just about everything I love: Music, Entertainment and Education for Children, Vintage and Classic songs, new and innovative arrangements, playing the spoons, and EVEN A TAP DANCING TOMATO!

trudy

YUP. HER NAME IS TRUDY.

With incredible NY musicians who have played with the likes of Anne Hampton Callaway and little old me with personality to spare, I am SO EXCITED to see this project realized!

Ultimately, Songs For Young Whippersnappers will not only be an album of fantastic classic songs for kids—of all ages!—it will also have:

-companion educational materials (complete with lesson plans for everything from the history of the song to instrument recognition),
-YouTube videos where fans can learn more about the songs, instruments, and musicians who created the album, as well as how to join in and be a fellow Whippersnapper themselves,
-AND even a live show–with puppets and more!

Hope you’ll share in this journey with us—it’s bound to be a doozy!
Click here to follow us on FACEBOOK!

OH….and Trudy Says…”If you’re feeling particularly snappy, how about helping me make my TAP DANCING DEBUT with a  nifty little GIFTIE?

XOXOXO!

Send us an email below to join our mailing list and keep up with our journey!

It’s already MARCH!?!!!

Well hello! Is it spring yet!?

I wouldn’t mind being rid of winter for this year but it’s been a good one, despite mother natures wrath!

So what’s new pussycats!???

Excited to have gotten underway with my album of songs for children :

“When I was your age…”

Classic songs reimagined for children!

We are recording our first track and having a blast-long road ahead but can’t wait! Tracks will include an original arrangement of mine of Three Little Birds, a mash up of beloved sunshine songs in the “Sunshine Scramble”, and even an old 1930s tune dedicated to….SPINACH!

I’m still chipping away at my children’s book: “Dilber, The Cranky Banana” and looking towards a re-mounting of “Vintageous” this year as we continue to work towards helping that project grow!

“A Day With The Dolls” , the non profit program I created for The Manhattan Dolls last year continues to flourish and we already have 5 bookings for 2015! Really cool stuff….to know that we set a goal to be able to expand the reach of our music to seniors and veterans and see it coming to fruition and flourishing is so rewarding. We are headed to the Montrose VA Hospital in Montrose, NY at the end of this month and I cannot wait. Music therapy is such a passion of mine and, hell, it’s the least we can do right!? And it’s actually fun to exercise my writing muscle on these grant applications! Who knew?

We also got to be featured on “Spotlight on Charity” recently through our awesome and generous doll Sheila and her super talented husband Andy Kelso, star of Kinky Boots on Broadway! Sheila chose “A Day With The Dolls” as her charity of choice and it was such a great platform to help share our program! We are hopeful to get to even more centers as a result and I will be sure to share when the show comes out!

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=10798

February saw a 9 day Dolls tour in Arizona-my first time to the state and so cool! Always fun to travel and get to share this great music! Here are the Dolls on the Tuscon Morning Blend!

http://www.jrn.com/kgun9/shows/the-morning-blend/video/manhattandolls-290501291.html?lc=Tablet

The little modeling shoot I did last year for Vintage Boutique “Sankofa Vintage Boutique” is online via etsy-cool! Though I might just have to buy this Dolly Parton-esque dress myself ! https://www.etsy.com/listing/192910728/vintage-1980s-dress-80s-dress-frill

I’m looking forward to joining “Actoria” at Astoria Kaufman Studios for a few musical theater tunes on 3/18—come out and join us if you can!

MyThunderstood is also back this spring -looking forward to getting zany around the tri state area with some Greek mythology and bringing theater to kids, helping to keep that love of the arts alive! Brought to you by Number 11 productions…..another group of dear friends who do great work! I I play Calypso and Hades…among other ridiculousness……my favorite!

Check them out! Www.No11productions.com

Speaking of writing….my dear friend Dana has also begun a theater company: Four Quarter Theater. Their first set of 10 minute plays was fantastic! Should I submit one for their spring season? Just might! Why not….with all this spare time?! ;p

Their theme is “Allergies”….I smell a comedy!

HA-CHOO!!

Looking forward to a busy summer and a creative year! Take care friends!!

Xoxo

Val

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

The Dolls at a Detriot Holiday Event!

Hi Friends!

It’s been too long! Because I have been a busy bee!

This June I had the unique opportunity to perform under the musical direction of long time childhood friend John Bell at the yearly benefit for The Irish Repertory Theater, a long time off broadway institution here in NYC!

Soloists included Robert Cuccioli, Melissa Errico, Malcolm Gets, James Naughton, and more !

The benefit was at the Al Hirschfeld Theater and it was a pleasure and an honor to help this incredible theater continue it’s amazing work!

I also debuted TWO new solo projects this year: a classic country inspired cabaret: CARDIFF COUNTRY, with 3 amazing musicians and back up singers to boot! We played Rapture Lounge and Tantra Lounge for Waltz-Astoria, both in NYC, and are looking at more venues for 2015!

The second project is “Vintageous”-a duo project (piano and vocals) which is poised to continue growth into a full jazz combo. My homage to Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney and other classic greats! We played Toshi’s Living Room in the Flatiron District of Manhattan in December and are looking forward to more dates in 2015! You can find us on “Gig Salad” under jazz bands-“Vintageous” .

I continued work on my children’s book: “Dilber, The Cranky Banana” and am in the creation phase of an album we hope to begin recording in 2015:
“When I was your age……classic songs reimagined for children”
Songs will include original arrangements of well known classics and a few obscure fantastic 1930s tunes as well! Using simple instrumentation and vocals, the emphasis of the album is to be something both children and adults can enjoy-no annoying “kid” music here! We also aim to emphasize the accessibility of music by (among other things) using household items as percussion at times and un-retouched vocals. Music is for everyone! Pick up a pot and spoon and you’re a drummer!

Stay tuned for more on these great projects!

In other news,

I Accepted the position of NY Regional Manager of The Manhattan Dolls and we are shakin and bakin!

THE MANHATTAN DOLLS are traveling the world as always, including trips to france and the UK this summer, the WWII Airshow at the MID ATLANTIC AIR MUSEUM (www.maam.org) in Reading, PA, and a special event and mini tour in upstate NY that included seeing the “Whiskey 7″ off on its return flight to Normandy for the first time in 70 years!

We were in Philadephia for an Honor Flight (www.honorflight.org) and on the SS John Brown in Baltimore, as well as at Iridium Jazz Club and The West End Lounge in NYC! Among other venues!

Check our home page for upcoming gigs! Www.themanhattandolls.com

Our 2nd cd was released Nov 15 on which I am featured on a few tracks-including our ORIGINAL “MILITARY MEDLEY”, an arrangement/medley of the song of each military branch in incredible 3 part harmony! A true, one of a kind, tribute to our nations veterans. We had a sold -out CD release concert on 11/21 on NYC at The West End Lounge, have shipped the CD all over the world, and are even being played on a few Irish radio stations! Who’d have thunk it?!

Additionally, In an effort to expand the reach of our music-and as an homage to the field of music therapy, which I love, I was inspired to create a non profit entity so that we can bring the Dolls’ music to folks in senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, and other adult care facilities!

It’s called “A Day With The Dolls”.

Check us out here and please consider a donation!

http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=10798

And finally, it’s been a MOST wonderful time of the year with our busiest DOLLIDAYS season ever! The chestnuts have been roasted, the snowman is frosted, and we have asked Santa Baby for diamonds …repeatedly! Let’s hope he delivers 😉 .

So…yes…it’s been quite a year!

Thanks for checking in and I wish the biggest HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours and here’s to a great 2015!

Xoxo!

Valerie

WE’RE BAAAACK!!

WE'RE BAAAACK!!

So excited to do a producers reading of Nancy Holson’s “THE NUTCRACKER: A MUSICAL” next weekend!

The SUGAR PLUM FAIRY returns and we hope for a full production this upcoming holiday season!!

In other news, I’m excited to be modeling for SANKOFA VINTAGE BOUTIQUE (www.sankofavintageboutique.com)

AND

recording a musical children’s book for the huge, Korean based educational group KIZ-M with NYC based producer Cardozie Jones, all in the next few weeks ! Busy and fun!!

Look for photos to come !!

HAPPY SPRING!

VAL

SING FOR YOUR SENIORS with THE MANHATTAN DOLLS!!

SING FOR YOUR SENIORS with THE MANHATTAN DOLLS!!

HAD SUCH an amazing time today with SING FOR YOUR SENIORS at the SAGE center in midtown! THE MANHATTAN DOLLS, Myself, Carly Doll and Sarah Doll had the privilege of performing selections from our 50s /60s show “Rockin with the Dolls” for the patrons of The SAGE center in Manhattan-the first ever center for gay, lesbian, transgendered, And bisexual seniors-a truly amazing and pioneering organization!

 

Please check out sing for your seniors on Facebook and like them-and like THE DOLLS too!

 

 

THE LATEST!

Hi Friends!

Thanks for checking in!

The latest projects are really exciting and fun!

As many of you may know, in addition to singing, acting, and dancing, I am also an educator-it’s basically my second career and I love it equally!

I’m so pleased to be announcing two new projects that encompass both my love of education AND performing!

Beginning in April, I will be working with Korean education group KIZ-M and producer/director Cardozie Jones on a series of educational audio books for children where I will be voicing characters AND singing the adorable songs!! Can’t wait it get started-check back here for updates on that as we go!

In March I also joined No. 11 Productions’ cast of “Mythunderstood” and we had a few gigs with more to come! A great show–educational and hilarious-and something that reinforces a personal mission of mine of bringing theater to children. I remember loving every show that came to my school and it is part of what helped get me to where I am today! Being able to be a part of that experience for other children is a blessing and a blast!

Check out no.11 productions via their site below:

http://www.no11productions.com/mythunderstood.html

They have a handful of amazing projects and are always working and creating-something that’s a joy and a priveledge to be a part of! Thanks Ryan and Julie!

Xoxo,

Val

LET’S GO TO THE HOP!!

LET'S GO TO THE HOP!!

Had such fun dancing for a fundraiser event in the city tonight! Coordinated by yours truly, 2 roller skaters and 4 dancers brought a whole lot of 50s fun to the event! Thanks mom, for making us listen to oldies in the car as kids so I knew every song! And great to bust out those seldom used 50s dance moves! Mashed potato, anyone?

ImageHi Friends! I am excited to be singing with THE MANHATTAN DOLLS as part of a benefit for Philippines in the wake of typhoon Haiyan last fall. THIS MONDAY, JAN 20 at The TRIAD in NYC–9pm! Please come check us and the rest of the fabulous performers out and donate to a good cause! 

Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Red Cross. The event will include broadway and off-broadway singers and performers, as well as New York City based stand- up comedians. There will also be a live auction for gifts donated by local businesses like Ziva Meditation, Bikram yoga, Beyond Sushi and more.
$10 in advance / $20 at the door
2-drink minimum

Ticket link:

http://stage72.com/ai1ec_event/an-evening-of-music-and-comedy-disaster-relief-for-the-philippines/?instance_id=998or they can be bought at www.brownpapertickets.com