Valerie Capers is a pianist, composer, arranger, and educator who has a family history of involvement with jazz and music. A former Julliard student, she carries both a BS and an MS in piano studies. She began her career as an arranger with the Santamaria Afro-Cuban band, which strengthened her leanings toward jazz. She formed her own trio in 1967; later she produced the album Come on home, showcasing the musical talents of Clark Terry, Paquito D'Rivera, John Robinson, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. She has performed with Dizzy Gillespie and wrote compositions for the Opera Ebony, the All-City Chorus, and the New Music Consort. She has also taught at the Bronx Community College, serving simultaneously as chair of the music and arts departments from 1987 to 1995.