Bay-area born and bred, jazz and gospel trained, and internationally respected, Valerie Troutt is a musical collagist, borrowing from ancestral centuries of sound, channeling spirits, and delivering the stories of our love, loss, and lives. There’s a light in this unapologetically unconventional artist/teacher/activist for whom art and activism are intertwined. Within this spiritual and social justice-driven performer is a lifelong hunger for craft, for connection, for cultural narratives and an indefatigable thirst to serve as an agape griot to a waiting and hurting people.
Tammy has worked with vocalists Etta Jones, Kim Nalley, Holly Near, Linda Tillery(and the Cultural Heritage Choir), Denise Perrier, Rhonda Benin, Tiffany Austin, Pamela Rose, Lisa Ferraro, Nicolas Bearde, Branice McKenzie, Ernestine Anderson, Kenny Washington, Melba Moore, Darlene Love, Miki Howard and Queen Esther Marrow, award-winning cabaret singer and actress Connie Champagne, the Supreme Mary Wilson, chanteuse and actress Debbie De Coudreaux, Amikaeyla Gaston, The Montclair Women’s Big Band, Houston Person, David ‘Fathead Newman’, violinists Regina Carter, Jeremy Cohen, Mads Tolling and Laurie Anderson, orchestra leader and bassist Marcus Shelby, drummer and band leader Allison Miller and guitarist Terrence Brewer.
Tammy’s continued involvement with her musical and cultural community include working as an instructor/lecturer (faculty)/mentor, with a number of schools and non-profit arts organizations dedicated to making music and theatre accessible to under-funded inner city children and well known and funded organizations such as: Adventures In Music (AIM), under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony in collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District, The Handful Players Children’s Theatre (San Francisco public schools/Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco), the Drew School (San Francisco), SFJazz Educational Outreach programs (Jazz In The Middle, Jazz In Session, Jazz and Freedom, Jazz and the American Experience), The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Alameda Unified School District, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Zellerbach Foundation, Yoshi’s and the Jazz & Heritage Center of San Francisco, Musically Minded Academy in Oakland, the Narada Michael Walden Foundation, VIBO Music in San Francisco and the California Jazz Conservatory – and the world, through Broadway Bound, with workshops and performances in Uruguay, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. In 2019 Tammy was recognized by the San Francisco Chapter of the Human Rights Commission, as one of the recipients of its inaugural Pleasant-Leidesdorff San Francisco Community Stalwart Award.