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Singer Valerie Troutt Opens Her Musical Diary In Her New Album 'The Oakland Girl'

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Peter Rosos
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Jazz vocalist Valerie Troutt.

Jazz vocalist Valerie Troutt tells a coming-of-age story in her new album "The Oakland Girl."

Valerie Troutt grew up in The Town, where the community recognized her talent when she was a kid. Members of her church would buy her tickets to concerts and musicals to expose her to all types of music. That support, plus having encouraging parents (her mom took her to the night club Sweet Jimmie’s!), influenced Valerie.

"The 'Oakland Girl' is someone who gives birth. Someone who is a holder of space and really has a vision for life."

Valerie’s jazz and gospel vocals have been heard all around the Bay Area. 

She wrote second album, The Oakland Girl wrote 20 years ago while living in New York City. But the themes of growth and love still resonate today. Her album is available on Bandcamp.

Click the play button above to listen to the interview.

This interview was produced by Jenee Darden and Precious J. Green and mixed by Gabe Grabin.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.