Special to South Florida Times

Valerie Tyson is no stranger to performing on stage.  She has been singing smooth jazz, blues, R&B, and soul for more than 35 years.

Local audiences get to hear her at least once a week. Tyson gives a show every Tuesday night from 8 p.m. to midnight at Blue Jean Blues, 3320 NE 33rd St. in Fort Lauderdale.  During “Throwback Tuesdays,” she performs Motown hits, R&B and blues.  She also stays busy performing at concerts, festivals, weddings, and gala events.

She likes to perform all kinds of songs but her two favorites are Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross and This Is It by Kenny Loggins.  Her favorite singer is also a musical legend, Gladys Knight.

“I love and aappreciate her voice, style and class,” Tyson said.  “She’s awesome and moves me.  I’ve been a fan of hers for years ever since I heard her sing.  She is the cherry on an ice cream sundae.”

Her musical taste is wide and varied.  She is a huge fan of several performers including Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Natalie Cole, Heart, Annie Lennox, Steely Dan, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah Vaughn and B.B. King.

Tyson is gearing up for her next big performance May 28 at Piano at The Hard Rock Hotel where she will be selling her new EP, Here I Am. There will also be a live videotaping of the show.

“It is the first original music I’ve ever done,” said Tyson of her EP and noted she plans to release a complete CD as well. “I have been blessed to make a great living singing and performing cover songs but it’s the first time ever with my own songs.”

Recently, she got a thrill when she hit the stage at the 10th Annual Jazz in the Gardens.

“It was a magical moment,” said Tyson, a native of Hollywood.  “I felt so blessed to be asked…  [and] represent South Florida as one the local entertainers.” Tyson said.  “I have been a spectator for many years and always saw myself performing there. It was very surreal being there but the moment we took the stage I felt at home, excited and just ready to give the people a great show.”

Here I Am gave her a chance to help others. “I co-produced this with some amazing up and coming musicians: Jeff Davis, Annie Jules, J. Allen, Randy McGill, and Mike Marshall,” Tyson said.

She added that fans can expect more. “I do have some future plans for collaborations with several other female vocalists in town but we’re still on the planning stage.”

Fans of Tyson can visit, her Facebook page Valerie Tyson the Artist, orfollow her on Instagram @theartistvalerietyson.