Jenna Bortolotti, Blue Print for a Riot, The Motivated Sequence, Valerie Orth

Jenna Bortolotti

Singer/songwriter Jenna Bortolotti from Boston, MA has covered remarkable ground having performed at major venues in Boston and
New York City in the mist of writing/recording her debut studio album, Tunnel Vision, due out this year. Jenna has crafted her beautiful
sound into a powerful vessel of truth.

Jenna has a long history of performing in front of crowds. Having first taken to the stage as a dancer in her youth, and entertaining filled
stadiums as a softball pitcher in college, Jenna has been captivating audiences her entire life.

As a musician, she has harnessed this experience and paired it with emotional lyrics and melodies to create cathartically compelling
live performances. However, her eminence is by no means limited to putting on enchanting live shows. Drawing inspiration from an
eclectic grouping of artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Norah Jones to Beyoncé Knowles, a treasury of multifaceted puzzle pieces
comprises her far-reaching, organic musical style and angelic voice, which lends itself beautifully to studio recordings.

One of the most distinctive elements of Jenna’s music is her expressive brand of songwriting. She is a not a songwriter by choice, but
by necessity. Even before realizing her potential as a singer, she would channel her emotions into poetry as a form of therapy, enabling
her to deal with the complexities of life. In her lyrics, she employs this same practice, merging it with her innate ear for melody to create
tuneful songs that venture deep into heart of life in a way that is instantly relatable to all.

The Motivated Sequence

The Motivated Sequence wants to be the lightning in your heart & the thunder in your bones. TMS, a six piece Indie-Pop group based primarily out of Boston, connect with their listeners lyrically and sonically with arrangements that include lush strings, sparkling guitars, and powerful drums.

Moving to NYC after 11 years in SF, and more than half of those years deep in the Bay Area's music scene...

Described as "sexy, soulful, genuine, and edgy" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and an "indie folk powerhouse" by Bend's Source Weekly, Valerie Orth is a fearless and genre-bending songwriter. Her distinctive hybrid of rock, groove, soul, and folk reaches out and grabs your attention; her live performances captivate and charm at once.

Rich with melody and metaphor, Orth's tunes move nimbly between darkness and light, hope and despair, taking deft turns of phrase along unforeseen rhythmic twists in the road. With gorgeous, multi-octave vocals and no fear of heights, she flirts with the edge as readily as she subverts expectations.

"Unpredictable and highly original," writes the Jefferson Agrarian. "Just when you think she's going to settle into a familiar groove, off she flies into the stratosphere with phrasings you never saw coming."

Orth's dynamic range as a performer is made all the more compelling by what the East Bay Express calls a "completely intuitive composition style."

Influenced by artists as diverse as Ani DiFranco and Bjork, Meshell Ndegeocello and Zap Mama, Valerie understands song as revolution, whether personal or political, and as evolution, creating change within herself and the possibility for it within her listeners.

"There is an honesty to Valerie's music that is both brilliant and heartbreaking," writes the San Francisco Chronicle.

Orth grew up, as she puts it, "singing before I could talk." That penchant led from musical theater productions in her youth to an African diaspora choir at Tufts University. Along the way, she studied drumming and dance in Ghana. But her background is mainly in activism. She campaigned for a women's studies department at Tufts and organized rallies for fair trade and environmental justice. After graduating, Orth took a job with Green Corps, then moved to San Francisco and became a labor organizer for Global Exchange. She challenged corporate behemoths like Procter & Gamble and led the effort to pass San Francisco's anti-sweatshop law in 2005.

After a few years of burning the midnight oil on grassroots campaigns that often found her working over 70 hours a week, Valerie decided to return to her musical roots, hopeful that her art might have similar impact to her work in social justice. "Songwriting and performing are basic necessities in my life," she says. "I couldn't stand the idea of not singing."

Her most recent full length release, Faraway City, which the East Bay Express described as "a remarkable piece of work,"features Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter) on drums, Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls) on piano and organ, and Jon Evans (Tori Amos) on bass and electric guitar. Produced by Evans, it amply displays Valerie's range as composer, lyricist, and singer.

"I think we went a bit more 'out-there' than the regular singer-songwriter genre," says Orth.

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Jenna Bortolotti, Blue Print for a Riot, The Motivated Sequence, Valerie Orth

Thursday, May 23 · 8:00 PM at Church