Passion and vulnerability resonate in every phrase of Valentina Marino’s music. A channel of artistic individualism, the Italian-born singer, composer and lyricist draws inspiration for her compositions and arrangements from personal experiences and universal insight. Brimming with evocative phrasing through a lush tone, Marino’s music is an extension of her sensitivity and imagination as an artist and a human being. Leader of the Valentina Marino Quartet–a distinctive sound project whose rhythm section features Cameron Brown, Anthony Pinciotti and Jay Azzolina–she responds to each moment with a clarity of intention and an honest expression of self.
Born in Sicily and grown up in Rome, Marino begun studying piano and voice in high school.
After attending Italy’s prestigious University of Music in Rome, Marino headed to Vienna to begin her first run of performances as a band leader. Following her live success playing alongside trio members, pianist Johannes Thoma and bass player, Karl Hodas, Marino traveled west to earn her BFA in Vocal Jazz Performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.
Under the direction of master bass player and music legend, Reggie Workman, Marino acted as lead vocalist and arranger of The New School’s John Coltrane Ensemble.
Heavily influenced by the artistic wisdom of her instructors–such creative voices as Dave Glasser, Amy London, Julie Hardy, La Tanya Hall, Kirk Nuroc, Steve Cardenas and Janet Lawson–Marino soon began performing all over the NY metropolitan area. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, and such iconic clubs and music venues as Cornelia Street Cafe, Bar Next Door, Rue B, The Kitano Hotel, Somethin’ Jazz Club, The Flatiron Room, Cleopatra’s Needle, The Garage, Zinc Bar, The Cotton Club, Cafe Noctambulo at Pangea, Zeb’s, and Smalls Jazz Club. She also has appeared as the special guest of The Davell Crawford Quartet at Snug Harbor in New Orleans.
Establishing an international legacy as a genre-bending artist who values creative inclusivity, Marino is currently performing across Europe and the US.
Her arrangement selections reflect a true cross-section of musical influences, from jazz and pop rock to tango and Spanish folk.
While traveling back and forth across the Atlantic to perform with so many inspiring musicians, Marino was moved to channel some of their evolving synergy in the studio. She conceived her latest album, ‘In the Name of Love’ (Jazzheads Records) through a creative exploration of her own fascination with the human condition. Using deliberate harmony and thoughtful lyricism, the track selections consider universal themes of isolation, afflicted arousal and the agony and ecstasy of falling in love. Artfully curated by Marino and producer Cameron Brown, the record features her original lyrics and compositions, as well as contemporary arrangements of classic favorites from Bossa to Bowie. The personnel include the eclectic array of international artists who have supported Marino’s creative vision throughout her burgeoning career: Producer Cameron Brown also on bass, Jay Azzolina on guitar, Anthony Pinciotti on drums and percussion, Alberto Pibiri on piano and Max Zooi on bass clarinet and alto saxophone.