Valarie Pettiford, is a Tony-nominated and multiple award-winning actress, singer, and Fosse-trained dancer. You may remember Valarie for her Tony-nominated performance in Fosse, the musical revue that paid homage to her mentor, or for her role as Big Dee Dee Thorne on the hit sitcom Half and Half, but for anyone that has heard her sing, it is her decadent and breathtaking voice they remember. Valarie is releasing her second solo album this fall, “Velvet Sky”, a collection of original lullabies written specifically for her. Each song was masterfully crafted to fit her jazzy Broadway voice, resulting in a breathtaking collection of songs that is sure to become a household favorite.
Valarie Pettiford’s career glitters like the lights on Broadway. She is a rare breed, a tried-and-true triple threat. Valarie has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, but has never let her brushes with fame go to her head. Although some would argue that she is a celebrity in her own right, Valarie swears that she is still just a humble girl from Queens.
From the stages of Broadway to the soundstages of Hollywood, Valarie Pettiford has charmed audiences with her performances. Valarie’s journey has included being one of Bob Fosse’s principal dancers and dance captain of his final Broadway production. As an actor, she has created characters for which fans still recognize her- Aunt Jackie in the smash feature film Stomp the Yard, and Aunt Geneva, whose rehearsal dinner musical number nearly stole Jumping the Broom from co-stars Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Paula Patton. Most recently you may have seen her guest starring alongside fellow Broadway veterans Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop, and Ellen Green in ABC Family’s Bunheads. September marks the return of HBO’ Treme in its third season, in which Pettiford recurs.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Pettiford will release “Velvet Sky”, a collection of original lullabies. Written for her vocal strengths by two legendary writing teams – Ron Abel (music)/Chuck Steffan (lyrics) and Michael Orland (music)/Jamie Wooten (lyrics) – Pettiford brings a tenderness and wealth of emotion to the thirteen tracks on this new album. The songs range from playful numbers that are meant to inspire play between parents and their children, as well as softer tracks to lull babies (of all ages) to sleep.
“I am very proud of this project. It was a real labor of love,” enthuses Pettiford. “I think people – especially parents and soon-to-be parents – will really connect with this music, which will help them connect more with their babies.”
When asked about what originally drew her to a lullabies project, Pettiford says, “My ex-husband (Tony Rader) and I were thinking about having children when we started putting the album together. I thought what a beautiful idea it would be to record an album of lullabies. I also thought my voice was well-suited for lullabies. That’s what was so great about having the songs written just for me. Ron, Chuck, Jamie and Michael all knew my voice very well, and they wrote for my strengths.”
“Velvet Sky” encourages interaction and bonding for parents and their children. Lullabies are some of the most cherished musical moments because of the intimacy they inspire. That authenticity and joy is captured in perfect harmony with this collection of lullabies, and kids of all ages will love these new musical gems.
In the traditional sense of the word, Valarie Pettiford is a diva, a master of her craft who has the ability to command attention. With a new album to celebrate and a career that spans over three decades to honor, Pettiford is hosting a rare one-night-only performance on Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM at The Renberg Theater at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. This show will feature all of her favorite song and dance numbers, from Broadway classics to popular hits and (of course) music from her upcoming album. It will be a night of storytelling and music that is not to be missed. Valarie is beloved by all who have heard her perform, and this concert will be a chance to celebrate and enjoy one of Los Angeles’ most diverse and talented stars.
Visit www.OfficialValariePettiford.com for more information.