Valerie is a native of San Antonio, and first began playing the tin whistle at the age of 14 after hearing Irish music for the first time. Soon after, she began taking fiddle lessons from Jim Fox of St. James’s Gate (All-Ireland 1986) in San Antonio. Valerie later joined St. James’s Gate playing the fiddle in 1991, and co-founded the innovative Irish band, Agus, in 1994. She now plays with the Jackson/Orlando-based band, Legacy. At the Augusta workshops, Valerie has had the opportunity to study under fiddlers James Kelly, Brendan Mulvihill, Eileen Ivers, and Brian Conway. Valerie has performed at festivals, concerts, and sessions across the country. She is a familiar sight at festival sessions, and is always up for a tune and the craic. Valerie has recently been recognized by the State of Mississippi as a Master Artist for Irish Fiddle. Valerie appears as a guest musician on Chris Grotewohl’s acclaimed album, Under the Influence (1996), with other accomplished musicians such as piper Kiaran O’Hare, guitarist Zan McLeod, Connie Dover, Roger Landes, and Albert Alfonso. She can also be heard on Legacy’s Navan (1998), An Triréad (2006), An Irish Christmas (2007) and their newest album, Not Making Hay (2008).
Instructor – Fiddle