Val James was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but grew up in the East Mountains, just outside of town. Her musical roots run deep, as her father, Tony Brazis, was also a musician, taught himself drums and guitar, toured in the South, and signed a deal with Decca records on the East Coast before moving to New Mexico in the early 1970’s. Val’s mom Katy Brazis, played flute, piano, and guitar. Her grandfather played trombone, and drums, and it was her grandmother who first put her in piano lessons at age 5, where she started exploring being creative with music. Her whole family encouraged her to explore her talents of expression through music, either in writing, performance, or teaching. Val has fond memories of past holidays when the whole family would gather around her grandpa’s drum kit, each bringing their own instrument and jamming on every song they could think of. She’s been playing guitar since she was 7 years old, and singing and writing songs since she was 14. Val has a passion for writing new songs and learning new popular songs that people love, including special requests! Some of her biggest influences in her musical style are Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, Jonny Lang, Joni Mitchell, & Etta James. While she plays some covers, her original tunes are an indie mix of rock, blues, soul, funk and R&B. She recently wrote and recorded songs from her own life experiences; she used music to paint a picture of of these life lessons. Val also has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, but has taken a brave step in only focusing on writing, recording, playing music, , and teaching music full time to children. Val James brings a new fresh sound to the old lovable blues & rock in a sound that’s all her own.
- Karla Alvarez
- Courtney Walsh