Valerie Troutt

Ken Husbands is a jazz guitarist who has never let genre boundaries stand in his way. After learning to play rock and blues and studying jazz in high school and college, he has gone on to work in groups ranging from jazz to funk to disco to klezmer to classical to African dance music and many things in between. Born and raised in Massachusetts, his career has included extended stays in Paris, France and Southern California. Along the way he picked up a PhD studying the resonance of jazz in French culture.

Currently residing in Oakland, California, he has performed at venues such as Yoshi’s, Anna’s Jazz Island, Freight and Salvage, Savanna Jazz, The Razz Room, the Cliff House, Jupiter, Albatross, Beckett’s, Café Claude, Café Van Cleef, Richmond Civic Center, Sausalito Art Festival etc. In addition to leading his own trio he performs regularly with the Junius Courtney Big Band featuring Denise Perrier, the Suzanna Smith Band, Collectif Étoile and many others. Please see the “Trio” page for more information about The Ken Husbands Trio.

  • B.A. SWARTHMORE COLLEGE | Swarthmore, PA 2012
  • ÅRHUS UNIVERSITY | Århus, Denmark 2010

Primary tutelage: Deborah Buck (Lark Quartet), Ann Setzer (Mannes College of Music and Julliard School of Music), Beverly Shin (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Whether you hope to be a professional musician or just want to explore a new way of thinking, the violin is a fantastic way to express and develop creativity, focus, and a lifetime love of music.

The daughter and now aunt of an Oakland-based family of artists, activists, teachers and spiritualists, both by blood and by community, the melding of Troutt’s creative and spiritual life emerged early, at the age of seven with her first church solo. Children’s choirs, holiday solos, and developing skills in piano and guitar as well as voice followed at the famed Walter Hawkin’s Love Center. By adolescence, at Berkeley High, Troutt’s world was being cracked open to the world of jazz at the same high school that produced jazz darlings Joshua Redman and Benny Green. Jazz camps, a Carmen McRae Scholarship, Stanford Jazz, Howard University Jazz program and ultimately the New School Jazz Performance program with contemporaries like Bilal Oliver and Tiombe Lockhart—always surrounded by teachers and learners, both vertically and horizontally, in her musical blossoming. After the requisite hand-to-mouth NYC grinds, lesson-rich production deals with labels like Oblique Sound (e.g., Gretchen Parlato), and a brief experience abroad as an ambassador for the International Association of Jazz Educators, Troutt ended up back in the Bay teaching music at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and performing for two years with the Grammy-nominated Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, most recently as a featured soloist on Still We Rise, Still We Sing.

While New York offered dream actualizing experiences like performing at SOBs and The Knitting Factory, sharing stages with major recording artists like Les Nubians, and honoring legends such as Bobby McFerrin at tributes, it was in California that Troutt found herself most in-demand and coming into her own. Innumerable venues and festivals presented the unique Valerie Troutt experience including: Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Laurel Street Fair, The Mint L.A., CODA Jazz Supper Club, and the Art ‘n’ Soul Festival, among others. Troutt further found herself collaborating with singer-songwriters like Jennifer Johns, Maria Muldaur, Kimiko Joy, and Sister Monica Parker, and recording with modern composers like Gregory Del Piero, Emanuel Ruffler, Howard Wiley and Jaz Sawyer. For nearly two years, she also served as a principle singer in La Pena – Ayer, Hoy y Pa’Lante, an original suite of music by three-time Grammy nominee, Wayne Wallace with libretto by Aya de Leon.

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