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Valerie Troutt 

When: Sun., June 22, 8 p.m. 2008
Price: $12-$15

Interesting harmonic ideas and a preternatural groove make Valerie Troutt one of the best emerging songwriters in the EastBay, though she's just launching her career as a bandleader. Troutt is the type of composer who's naturally inclined to write in odd meters, and might use a lot of unorthodox chord voicings if she hears them in her head. As a result, her pieces have texture, layers of mixed tonality, and the potential to shift moods on a dime. Her band is phenomenal to boot, featuring Kito Gamble and Maya Kronfeld on keys, Howard Wiley on saxophone, and David Ewell on bass. She'll hold a live album recording with special guest vocalist Buttafly Soul this Sunday, June 22, at La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). 8 p.m., $12-$15. or

— Rachel Swan


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