Valerie Capers

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Valerie Capers
Born May 24, 1935 (1935-05-24) (age 83)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano
Labels Atlantic, KMArts, Columbia
Associated acts Mongo Santamaria, Ray Brown, Slide Hampton, James Moody, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie

Valerie Capers (born May 24, 1935) is an African-American jazz pianist and composer.

Early life[edit]

Capers was born in New York City. She has been blind since the age of six, when an illness deprived her of her sight. Her early schooling took place at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. She then continued to study and obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. She was the first blind graduate of the Juilliard School.[1]

A musical family initiated her interest in jazz. Valerie's brother Bobby worked with the Mongo Santamaria Band, playing flute and tenor sax. Her father was associated with Fats Waller, whose musical nuances have been noted in Valerie's playing.


Valerie Capers formed her own trio and debuted as a recording artist on the Atlantic label.


Year recorded Title Label Notes
1965? Portrait in Soul Atlantic With John Daley (bass), Charley Hawkins (drums), Vincent McEwen (trumpet), Robin Kenyatta (alto sax), Frank Perowsky (tenor sax), Richy Landrum (congas)
1982? Affirmation KMArts With John Robinson (bass ), Al Harewood (drums)
1995? Come On Home Columbia With John Robinson, Bob Cranshaw (bass), Terry Clarke (drums), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax), Mongo Santamaria (congas)
1999? Wagner Takes the "A" Train Elysium With John Robinson (bass), Earl Williams (drums), Alan Givens (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute), Mark Marino (guitar)
2001? Limited Edition Valcap With John Robinson (bass), Earl Williams, Al Harewood (drums), Alan Givens (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute), Mark Marino (guitar)


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Valerie Capers | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2016.

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