Valerie Tyson knew at a young age that her passion was music. With the exception of holding a regular “nine to five” for about a year, she has been living her passion and sharing it with fans full time throughout South Florida for more than three decades.
She was bit by the music bug at around eight or nine-years old and began performing professionally while in high school. Born and raised in Hollywood, Tyson said her very first band, Cosmic Truth, used to perform at a park on Hollywood Boulevard. “The trumpet player’s mom was our manager and she had us at the beach stand on Hollywood Beach,” she recalled. Tyson’s big local break came when a fellow singer, Dee Dee Wilde, who was performing at The Forge on Miami Beach, left for maternity leave.
“I had to beg my parents for two weeks straight to let me take that gig,” she shared. The Forge gig was followed by her touring as a background singer for 80s R&B star, Jimmy Bo Horn.
Despite her burgeoning career, her father was still insistent on her having a “real job,” so Tyson said she worked in accounts payable at Budget Rental Car; but it only lasted about a year.
“I knew my heart was really into doing the music. I was doing both at the same time, traveling on the weekend with the band,” she said.
A gig at a club called Pickles in Pompano convinced her that the hours of a musician simply did not mesh with holding a regular job. “Sets didn’t end until a quarter of four, and by the time I got home and had to be at that job at 7:30,” she explained.
Tyson’s advice to young musicians is big on passion and perseverance. “If you’re really serious about it, you’re going to press on and do it anyway,”
LaVie is one of the young musicians who fol- lowed Tyson’s advice. The talented young singer had auditioned unsuccessfully for Jazz in the Gardens multiple times and was not planning to pursue the 2016 spot, until Tyson encouraged her to keep pushing forward. Tyson’s encouragement and LaVie’s perseverance resulted in her performing on the coveted Jazz in the Gardens stage in 2016. Tyson performed at Jazz in the Gardens in 2015.
Tyson’s musical offerings are diverse. She performs as a solo artist, including an Aretha Franklin Tribute. She is also a lead singer with the Valerie Tyson Band, which specializes in weddings, corporate events, birthday events, bar mitzvahs, and more.
Of the Valerie Tyson Band, she said, “we’ve been blessed to keep that brand going for many years.” Fans can catch Tyson’s act on Tuesday nights at Blue Jeans Blues, 3320 NE 33rd St. in Ft. Lauderdale.
For more information, visit iamvalerietyson.com, valerietysonband.com or call 954-303-1057.