Troy Valente was born and raised in Northern California and lived in Northern Colorado from 2001-2022. Even though his interest in the drums started at a very young age, his mom insisted on piano lessons prior to letting him play drums. This was something he was restless with at the time, but later came to appreciate. Troy’s musical career began with basic singing and acting through his school and church at the age of 4 as well as taking piano lessons throughout half of grade school. Music, especially music influenced by jazz, is constantly changing throughout the song. The drummer should change as well, whether it is through pocket development, fills, texture, etc. Having a melodic and musical theory background prior to moving to the drums has been instrumental in how Troy approaches the drumset and how he anticipates and adapts to the musical discourse of a song.
After gaining a general understanding of music in grade school, Troy started percussion in 7th grade and drumset in 8th grade. He was heavily involved with jazz in both junior high school and high school, both programs competing regionally. He also maintained his piano throughout high school, even dabbling in some pop composition. In high school Troy studied with John Mehler, who studied with Freddie Gruber (a close associate of Buddy Rich). Troy’s stent with John Mehler revolutionized both his technical and mental approach to the drumset. Troy won the Louis Armstrong National Jazz award for his local area as a senior in high school. He then went on to play and study jazz and pit orchestra at Pepperdine University on a small music scholarship where he met his wife (Barb), also on scholarship. They toured nationally together with a blues/funk band out of Los Angeles prior to coming to Colorado.
Troy continues to push his level of playing. He is an incessant student of the drumset and is a stickler on technique. Troy studied for a year in 2009 with local Colorado legend Gary Lefrancois, owner of Denver’s Metro Drum School and another student of Freddie Gruber’s, to further develop his Moeller technique that John Mehler had introduced him to years earlier.
Troy's past gigging/recording projects include M Squared, Austin Wahlert Band, Jeff Brinkman Band, Kidron's Crossing, Chris Liepe with Backhead Studios, B Nutt Orchestra (2000 National Tour), Pepperdine University Jazz Band, Tony-award winning Pepperdine University Orchestra and Pit Orchestra, and Pepperdine University Pep Band (Big Band Rock Band).
Barb Valente grew up surrounded by music, as she is the youngest of 4 siblings who all sang and played instruments. She began violin** lessons at age 4, piano at age 7 and has dabbled with other instruments throughout the years, including clarinet, guitar, cello, viola, bass, ukelele and mandolin. Barb competed in violin, piano and vocal events throughout high school, winning both state and national awards. She received a music scholarship to Pepperdine University in 1996, where she performed with the Tony award-winning Pepperdine University Orchestra as principal 2nd violinist as well as pit orchestra for the renowned theater and dance productions. Barb was one of the prinicipal keyboard players for the Pepperdine Pep Band, playing for multiple sporting events. She also acted as an accompanist for voice lessons and sang in the Pepperdine Chamber Choir. It was during this time that she met her husband, Troy. Her senior year, she joined a blues/funk band and embarked on a national tour with the band, contributing on violin, piano, and backup vocals. After completion of this tour, Barb began teaching and performing both locally and regionally.
Over the past two decades, Barb has played in many different musical groups, becoming accomplished in a myriad of musical styles. From country and folk to classical and jazz improvisation, Barb's perfect pitch has allowed her to adapt to any group. Her philosophy is that music is a conversation between the members. For Barb, listening to whatever current configuration of instruments and "communicating" accordingly is key to being a successful musician regardless of the setting. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to compose original songs and arrangments for personal endeavors, students, competitions, for the band M Squared, and now for Kairos MusiK.
Barb's current and past projects include M Squared, Austin Wahlert Band, Triple Nickel Band, Jeff Brinkman Band, Kidron's Crossing, Chris Liepe with Backhead Studios, B Nutt Orchestra (2000 National Tour), Greeley Chamber Orchestra (2nd Chair first violin), Tony-award winning Pepperdine University Orchestra and Pit Orchestra (Principal 2nd Violinist), Pepperdine Chamber Choir, and Pepperdine University Pep Band (Big Band Rock Band).
**Custom 5-String Violin designed/built by:
Jack Brainerd @ Veritable Violins, Boulder, CO.