Press Releases

Valerie Capers to be Honored on the Bronx Walk of Fame

Noted Jazz Musician & Lifelong Bronxite the First 2012 Honoree

The Bronx Tourism Council has announced that world famous jazz musician Valerie Capers will be inducted to the Bronx Walk of Fame this year. Ms. Capers will join dozens of borough legends who have been honored for their contributions to cultural and civic life not just here in the Bronx, but across the nation and the world.

"The Bronx and its people have served as a magical inspiration for my music over the years. I am both honored and excited to be part of such an elite group of fellow Bronxites being honored. Thank you to the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., for allowing me to always remain a part of the Bronx," said Valerie Capers.

“It is an absolute honor to have Ms. Valerie Capers on our ‘Bronx Walk of Fame’ this year. Not only has she achieved well-deserved success and recognition for her outstanding accomplishments in the world of jazz, but she has also given back to the community through her work as an educator. She is an inspiration and such a strong individual who did not let losing her sight become a deterrent in achieving success,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Valerie Capers, pianist, composer, singer, and educator, was born in New York City and received her early schooling at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind on Pelham Parkway. She then continued on to the Juilliard School of Music, becoming the only blind person to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Juilliard. For twenty-four years Dr. Capers was on the faculty of the Department of Music and Art at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) where she became chairman of the department from 1987 to 1995, and is now professor emeritus.

With her brother’s early encouragement, she developed into the exciting jazz performer she is today.

Her outstanding work as an educator has been lauded throughout the USA as innovative and impressive. She has been honored with three Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. Recent teaching and workshop venues include Stanford University, California, and the Mozarteum Conservatory, Salzburg, Austria.

Among the awards and commissions received are the National Endowment for the Arts, including a special-projects grant to present a jazz series at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Meet the Composer; the CUNY Research Foundation; the Smithsonian; and The Fund for Artists Arts International.

As a performer who also composes, Dr. Capers has several extended compositions, including two commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute and premiered in Washington D.C., at the invitation of the Smithsonian. Oxford University Press published of one of her composition collections.

Throughout her career, she has performed as a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz and Branford Marsalis’ JazzSet.

Dr. Capers performed with her trio and ensembles at clubs, concert halls, universities, and jazz festivals throughout the USA and internationally including Carnegie Hall; Rendezvous de l’Erdre, Nantes, France; International Grande Parade du Jazz Festival, Nice, France; and, North Sea Jazz Festival. She received rave reviews.

She has performed with a roster of outstanding artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Brown, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Slide Hampton, Max Roach, James Moody and Paquito D’Rivera, among others.

Valerie Capers has recorded several albums with her ensemble and is currently in preparation for her next release.

"As a child growing up in the Bronx, I always knew I would remain close to my roots. Today, I still live in the Bronx and am honored to be selected as one of this year's Walk of Fame inductees. This is truly an honor and only strengthens my pride in being from the Bronx," said Valerie Capers.

Join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on May 19 on the red carpet of The Bronx Ball, the borough’s most popular social event of the year. It’s a night to remember as Borough President Diaz leads the borough in welcoming home and paying tribute to several celebrity guests on the eve of their induction to the Bronx Walk of Fame. In the past, these special celebrity guests have included stage and screen star Chazz Palminteri, Grammy-winning singer and actress Irene Cara, TMZ Executive Producer Charles Latibeaudiere, Emmy-winning actress Doris Roberts, and Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley.

The black-tie gala takes place under a luxurious tent on Orchard Beach and is a fundraiser for the Bronx Tourism Council, a program at the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC). For ticket and advertising information please contact Jennifer Blatus: 718-590-2502 jblatus@boedc.org.

On May 20th the grand finale of Bronx Week will take place in the heart of the borough. Line the streets of Mosholu Parkway and the Grand Concourse to watch the magnificent parade. Bronx pride is on display as marching bands, community groups, local schools, sports teams and visit organizations march along Mosholu Parkway and pave the way for the Walk of Fame inductees float. As the parade approaches the Borough Hall, join Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. as the 2012 Bronx Walk of Fame inductees take their rightful place on the Grand Concourse when he unveils street signs bearing their names. As TV star and past inductee Doris Roberts has said, “I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but this is better!”

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