Starting with the piano at the age of 5, Valerie Tichacek has been mesmerizing audiences with her own special recipe of jazz. Performing straight ahead jazz seasoned with a heavy Latin flavor, Valerie is one vocalist you don't want to miss.
Currently generating a buzz in the St. Louis jazz scene, Valerie has a lifetime of musical training and experience to offer in each performance. In addition to the usual swing-style, bebop and ballads, she is known to splash in a few Spanish & Brazilian Portuguese tunes!
Music is definitely in her blood. Valerie is the Daughter of "Glen Davis", the St Louis Jazz organist who played with Ike Turner and (as rumor has it) a young Miles Davis. Her mother, Nelda Glenn, played lead cornet in The St. Louis Salvation Army Band and still teaches piano & organ.
Her early studies in jazz were in piano and alto sax, however she eventually went to the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where she double majored in flute and vocal studies. She is mentored by the legendary Sheila Jordan and has studied with jazz vocalists Roseanna Vitro, Karrin Allyson and Judy Neimack. Through the years she has sung a full range of styles, ranging from country to opera, however jazz is the style she considers home.
Valerie is most influenced by the Cool and Bebop eras. Early influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Karen Carpenter and even Patsy Cline.
When asked to define her style, Valerie responds, "I sing and scat in the Be-bop tradition, however I consider myself first and foremost a crooner." Truth is, her sultry sound and intimate singing style are complimented well by her exceptional abilities in bop-flavored scat singing.
In 2002, Valerie was honored by Downbeat Magazine with the "Outstanding Performance by a Collegiate Jazz Vocalist" award. She has been featured in St. Louis Magazine, the Suburban Journal, five times been invited to attend the prestigious Jazz in July Vocal program hosted by UMASS (Amherst, MA), and is a music chat hostess for America Online. In addition to the many venues she has performed in, Valerie has also performed for many distinguished guests such as former Mayor Harmon of St. Louis & Rep. Dick Gephardt.
Valerie leads two very successful groups; The Valerie Tichacek Trio with guitarist Paul Davis and Sandy Roll on trumpet, and a popular Speakeasy Swing-Band named Wack-A-Doo. She has performed live on WSIE, KDHX and KWMU radio, FOX-TV and has appeared in virtually all of St. Louis' top clubs and festivals. Valerie has also had the honor of singing with many of St. Louis' finest jazz musicians, including Sound UnLimited, SL Son Latin Jazz Band, Steve Schenkel, Don E. Curtis, Kim Portnoy, Tom Kennedy, Tom Byrne, Steve Brandes and the Edge of Reality Band, Dave Venn, Leslie Mclean, Randy Holmes, Scott Alberici, Dave Black and The Original Knights of Swing, and The Meramec Jazz Band led by Bob Boedges.
Valerie completed a degree in Jazz Studies at Webster University and currently hosts vocal workshops at Dave Simon's Rock School. She is also featured on the Don E. Curtis recording "And Then Some," and the Paul Davis recording "Playing Favorites" which pays tribute to such jazz legends as Peggy Lee, Elis Regina, Blossom Dearie and Sheila Jordan. Valerie's CD, "Sleepin' Bee" is available for purchase online at CDBaby.com.
You can also catch Valerie as the hostess and co-producer of the Jazz Web Video Series "Jazz At Cookie's," now viewable online at www.youtube.com/jazzatcookies.