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Singing In My Own Key by Valerie L. Giglio

Singing In My Own Key

by Valerie L. Giglio

Giveaway ends July 21, 2016.

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Latest News and Reviews

New Book Release August 1! 

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer! My new book, "Singing In My Own Key: A Vocalist's Triumph Over Stroke" will be available for purchase in print and E-book formats August 1 through my website, www.amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other sites TBA shortly. I am able to deliver autographed copies only on purchases made directly through my website, so please do let me know if you would like one! Also, with the first 100 orders made through my website I will be including a complimentary digital download card/link for my CD "Songbook"!  I just want to say thank you to my friends, family, and all of my fans for supporting me throughout this journey! Valerie 

Singing In My Own Key: A Vocalist's Triumph Over Stroke - Valerie L. Giglio
At forty-two years old, Valerie Giglio was heading for an even brighter future as both a successful lawyer and professional vocalist with two CDs to her name, when out of nowhere, she suffered a brain stem stroke that ravaged her life and caused her world to spin out of control. Completely paralyzed on one side, confined to a wheelchair, her singing voice stolen from her at the height of her career, Valerie was devastated.  But with fierce determination and fortitude, and the support of her loving family and a wonderful healthcare team, Valerie faced down every setback and obstacle in her path. Overcoming paralysis and regaining her singing voice, she returned to the stage just one year later. The story of this woman’s miraculous journey allows you to travel with Valerie on her path to an extraordinary recovery. Singing In My Own Key is a story of hope and faith that will leave you deeply inspired. 
Valerie L. Giglio is a vocalist and lawyer, and a member of The Recording Academy and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). She lives with her husband in suburban Boston, Massachusetts, owns an independent record label, and is also the founding partner of Giglio and Samson, Attorneys at Law. 

New book coming soon! And why I decided to write it... 

I started to write about my stroke experience while I was still in rehab back in 2014.  I had the use of only one hand at the time, but I thought it would be great to chronicle my recovery. The idea then turned into a full-fledged book about my stroke and the recovery of my body and singing voice. "Singing In My Own Key: A Vocalist's Triumph Over Stroke" is scheduled to be published this spring. I am excited! This book is a survivor's account of what it feels like to have a stroke, how I recovered and the challenges and small victories I faced along the way. I hope to give readers an insight into understanding this complicated brain injury. It is much more than just learning to walk again. It is the gradual healing process of the brain, which is documented in the book along with my views of everything from bedpans to physical therapy and singing on stage again. It's also the story of how so many experiences in my life had prepared me to overcome adversity. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sharing a part of my life with you!! Cheers! Valerie 

2015 Grammy Awards 

I recently returned from the 2015 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. It was amazing. This year, I got official red carpet privileges. And most of all, I WALKED the red carpet like a normal person. This was a far cry from a few months ago when I was confined to a wheelchair, so it was kind of a big deal for me. At my lowest point, I thought I'd never be able to do something like this again. 

Of course, I had to forgo the dress and heels this year in favor of something more stroke-friendly, yet sill equally outrageous. As I walked the red carpet, I noticed a man and his wife also walking next to me. The man was in sneakers, so it gave me a little reassurance that I wasn't the only one that chose to forgo some glitz and glam. I didn't think too much of this guy and we walked our separate ways at the end of the carpet. I had tucked my camera neatly in my purse as I didn't see anyone famous :). 

Later, I find out that I apparently walked the red carpet next to Pharrell. I never got to meet him as I assumed he was just another guest in the crowd. I never even got a picture! Talk about a major fail. And, I love Pharrell. I guess I was just too focused on happily strolling along the carpet and just rejoicing in being alive! 



My Journey to Becoming "Normal" Again 

Hello all,
I know it's been a long time since I've blogged, but here's why (I apologize In advance to all of my facebook followers who've heard about this already, and I'm sorry it's a little long):

I'm going to tell you my story. I'm hoping it might just save a life.  I'm also hoping it will maybe give you that nudge to do something you've always wanted to do. We only have one life, and it's too short to be filled with "what-if's"...

On June 1, 2014, I suffered a devastating Brain Stem stroke. I was in perfect health and had no risk factors. None. I simply turned my neck the wrong way one night in my sleep as I was preparing to go to sing in Italy again with Berklee Umbria. Unbeknownst to me, I had torn both vertebral arteries in my neck, likely during this twist of my neck and they naturally began to clot.  

And the clot travelled to my brain stem, causing a stroke. 

I was unable to move my entire on my left side from head to toe.  I lost my singing voice too. I couldn't sing a decent note at first. My brain apparently "forgot" how to do this. I spent most of my summer both in Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, relearning to walk and use my arm and hand. I never made it to Italy of course. I tried to sing in Rehab, but it was a terrible howl.  The stroke also damaged my vestibular system, making me extremely dizzy 24/7. I also had double vision, wore a ridiculous homemade eye patch, couldn't swallow at first, and was dizzy in my sleep or every time I took a step. 

I've been home since July, and I went from being bedridden in the hospital, to a wheelchair, to a brace and cane, and now I use nothing. I'm walking with a very slight limp, have full use of my arm and most of my hand and fingers are back to "normal". I just have one stubborn finger that is kind of lazy, but I'm working on it.  My singing voice is back. Granted, it's very weak and I have a long road to go, but it's there and I am not howling.  It's all about reestablishing connections in the brain.  Making it remember the good 'ole days and how to walk, use my arm, hand, fingers....as well as plenty of other things.  

I've decided to share my story with the hope that it will save someone's life. Please don't ignore any strange symptoms. In my case, I thought my neck ache was only a muscle spasm. But in hindsight, it hurt pretty bad for a few days.  Having a stroke was not on my radar even remotely.

I'd also like to raise awareness that a stroke can happen to anyone of any age, and at any time regardless of whether you are in great health or not. I'm not advocating paranoia, but heck...if you've got strange symptoms just be aware and get them examined properly and timely.  And, be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It's so important and frankly that's what I truly believe really helped to speed my recovery to the point it is at right now. People who survive a stroke are often left with an insurmountable recovery process, including months of therapy and rebuilding stamina, learning to do all the things most folks never even think about as well as dealing with monitoring health 24/7.  More importantly, stroke survivors are just like everyone else. We are not suddenly at a loss for intelligence...although some cannot speak or articulate words..their mind is otherwise not affected.

When I first left Rehab, I looked like an extra from the cast of The Golden Girls...I had my white sneakers and a fanny pack, a baseball hat, tons of loose fitting jogging style clothing, my walker, and a whole host of other accoutrements. I couldn't even dress myself, let alone jump back into my wardrobe. I had to wear clothes that could fit my chicken-wing arm comfortably as it was fixated in a bent position or my fingers clenched in an inward fist unnaturally. I would get looks in public...some folks clearly thought I had mental challenges, and made sure they kept their children away in public places. So, I bought several Stroke related t-shirts thinking I'd raise awareness while at the same inform people what was wrong and bypass the inquisitive stares.  It was very difficult. But now, I look like I did before the stroke...and without using walking aides it is practically impossible to tell I had a stroke.  I credit my amazing husband Mark and my Rehabiliation team for my months of constant brain retraining and therapy (that'll probably continue for several more months at least).  I go out in public and people don't stare at me. I blend in. I pick up items in a store like everyone else. My left arm and hand (except my stubborn index finger!) are back to where they were pre-stroke. It's the little things sometimes. I'm so very fortunate and grateful but I know it is not that way for everyone.   Some of the most amazing people I know are struggling to walk, speak, or even lift their arm or have invisible cognitive deficits from their stroke. They are dedicated, persevere, and refuse to give in.  They inspire me daily.  

I want to thank my family, friends, and fans for supporting me through this surreal and unimaginable time. I really appreciate it beyond words. I'm getting back in the game, baby.  You can achieve anything you dream of and have faith in yourself for you are stronger than you'd ever imagine. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you enjoy the picture of my musician friend Rob and I, just practicing.:) 
 
Sincerely,        

 Valerie

 

2014 News 

Hi!!!  I've been so busy this year doing a lot of exciting things…went to the Grammy Awards in January, somehow managed to walk the red carpet which was so crazy that sometimes I wonder if it was real! Also, my dear friend Laura Sullivan won a Grammy for Best New Age Album and I, along with so many others, are so proud of her and honored to call her my friend.  What an amazing talent, I can't say enough.  Also went to a pre-grammy red carpet event at Mixology in West Hollywood hosted by my friend and Grammy Nominated producer Arun Shenoy.  Good times…I am so blessed to be surrounded by genuine people, and that's such a rarity these days. :) Here's a pic of me on the red carpet :) 

Now, I am back to working in the studio with my friend Al Watkins, an incredibly talented Boston area producer/engineer…working on recording originals for a new CD. I spent the winter writing songs with a retro vibe and I'm really looking forward to sharing them with everyone!  

I'll be performing at Chick Singer Night's 10th Anniversary celebrating women in music on June 7 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA.  here's the link for tickets, it's going to be a fantastic show with so many talented artists. I can't wait!  
Chick Singer Night Boston 

Cheers! Valerie

2014 News 

Hi!!!  I've been so busy this year doing a lot of exciting things…went to the Grammy Awards in January, somehow managed to walk the red carpet which was so crazy that sometimes I wonder if it was real! Also, my dear friend Laura Sullivan won a Grammy for Best New Age Album and I, along with so many others, are so proud of her and honored to call her my friend.  What an amazing talent, I can't say enough.  Also went to a pre-grammy red carpet event at Mixology in West Hollywood hosted by my friend and Grammy Nominated producer Arun Shenoy.  Good times…I am so blessed to be surrounded by genuine people, and that's such a rarity these days. :) Here's a pic of me on the red carpet :) 

Now, I am back to working in the studio with my friend Al Watkins, an incredibly talented Boston area producer/engineer…working on recording originals for a new CD. I spent the winter writing songs with a retro vibe and I'm really looking forward to sharing them with everyone!  

I'll be performing at Chick Singer Night's 10th Anniversary celebrating women in music on June 7 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA.  here's the link for tickets, it's going to be a fantastic show with so many talented artists. I can't wait!  
Chick Singer Night Boston 

Cheers! Valerie

Reviews 

"I Love the way Valerie sings the Italian Classics. We need wonderful young artists like Valerie to keep this great tradition of music from Italy alive..and she's one of the best! Brava..." - Radio host Ron Della Chiesa (WGBH, Boston, MA)

"Valerie's music has power over the body, As you listen, It closes your eyes and transports you into a most melodically beautiful place. Valerie's passionate voice sleeps beautifully over the very delicate and romantic musical arrangement."  - Marlow Rosado (2013 Grammy® Award winning pianist/composer, Best Latin Tropical Album)  

"Valerie's heart and soul shine through every song she touches."  David Sholemson (Manager, Pat Metheny and Sr. VP of Ted Kurland Assoc.) 
"Valerie Giglio is a one of a kind original. Her soulful and passionate style is at once a retro treat, as well as an inspired and fresh new vibe on classic favorites. When I hear her sing, I am left for wanting nothing more than to be sipping a glass of wine in a café near the Trevi Fountain. Her voice is dynamic and emotive. She draws me in with a sensitivity that only someone who understands the layers of meaning in the lyrics of these well loved pieces could aptly perform. She is an artist to watch as her career will surely continue to expand in exciting new directions, delighting us with more of her charm which is so richly unique I believe she could be the next one to create a whole new genre that others will soon imitate." Laura Sullivan (2014 Grammy® Award winning Pianist and Composer, Sentient Spirit Records, Best New Age Album)
 

I'm Back! 

So....come sta and che si dice?  

I can't believe it's February already-and I've been slacking in the Blog department! 

January was a busy month for me.  I was honored to be a featured vocalist at the Ron Della Chiesa/Al Vega Tribute Concert at Scullers Jazz Club on January 17.  For those who do not know Ron, he is a radio legend and the voice of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years, in addition to having his own shows on WGBH.  Ron just published his biography, "Radio My Way" and because he was such a wonderful friend to the late Al Vega, he decided to turn his event into a tribute to Al.  I can't even tell you how crazy this concert was.  So many big names in the Boston jazz scene (Rebecca Parris, Grace Kelly, Mae Arnette, and Dr. Leonard Brown just to name a few) sharing the stage in tribute to Al.  I performed a tune that I always did with Al - a swingin' cover of the Andrews Sisters "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" with the Al Vega Tribute Orchestra and the great Teddy Casher on clarinet.   It was an amazing night that I'll never forget.  

Next up is my Valentine's day gig at Giuseppe's Ristorante in Gloucester. What a great place, a wonderful piano bar with excellent food and homemade desserts.  What's better than that?  I'll be doing my Dolce Vita show, featuring songs from my CD as well as Italian and American love songs.  Mike Tebo will be accompanying me on piano. Mike is a sought after musician and performer, and leader of the Mike Tebo band.  A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Mike has been playing throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire for decades and I'm so happy to be playing with him! 

Buona Notte mei amici!!!

Ciao Valerie

   

The Italian Project officially released!  

I am excited to announce that my latest CD entitled "The Italian Project" is now available for purchase!  You may purchase securely through Paypal on this site (see "Store") and it will soon be availble at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.com....

There is really something for everyone, from swing and blues, to pop and Italian classics.  There are also bonus 2 tracks in English. 

Makes a great stocking stuffer!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Valerie

The passing of the legendary Al Vega 

I am extremely saddened to report the passing of longtime friend, mentor, and bandmate Al Vega.  Al passed on Friday, December 2 at the age of 90.  As many of you may know, he was truly one of the last of his era.  He was the best and most sought after pianists in the Boston music scene (and beyond).  He played with every great you could imagine, from Miles Davis to Dizzy Gillepsie, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Johnny Mathis, Dinah Washington, Liberace, and many more.

We all loved Al and he was responsible for the launching of many musical careers, including mine.  He brought me under his wing, introduced me to the most amazing musicians, and allowed me to share the stage with legends.  I am honored to be able to have called him my friend and teacher.  I will miss him dearly, but his music still lives on.  Dr. Leonard Brown, professor of Music and African-American studies at Northeastern University, has recently published Al's biography and he has been featured on thousands of recordings throughout the years (including mine!).  Boston has lost one of its last true greats.  I love you, Al!

Here is a link to one of many great articles that have been written about Al:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/obituaries/2011/12/04/vega-boston-piano-legend-accompanied-giants-jazz/2o4dXpShQcsk5wygZtI4uI/story.html?s_campaign=8315%3Fs_campaign%3Dsm_fb

In the coming weeks, I'll be adding a tribute page on my website.....now if only we could all live to 90 doing what we love. 


Have a wonderful week!
Valerie