The Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo, comprised of Valerie and Benedict Turner, are ambassadors of Country Blues music, Piedmont-style fingerpicking, and roots percussion. Their mission is to help bring awareness to these unique aspects of African-American culture and to early blues artists' contributions through performing and teaching. They have entertained audiences domestically and abroad and are much loved wherever they go. As 2018 inductees into the New York Blues Hall of Fame, this husband-and-wife duo feel that "there are stories to tell, people to remember, and things that must be said" so, in addition to tickling your ears with delightful music, they weave a bit of history into the presentation of each song. A Piedmont Blūz concert isn’t just music – it’s an experience as they transport you back to the 1920s and 1930s, the hey-day of acoustic Country Blues music. In addition to performing songs from that time frame, they introduce each piece with an interesting anecdote about the composer, the period, or the song itself. Added to Music to Life's official Juried Artist roster in 2024, the duo looks forward to contributing to this network of musician change agents.

Valerie Turner is a native New Yorker with southern roots in Virginia and Georgia. She plays finger-style Country Blues guitar and specializes in the Piedmont-style fingerpicking. She has taught at major guitar workshops including the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, Augusta Blues Week, and Blues in the Gorge. An inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame, a Music to Life Juried Artist, and Co-President of the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation, Valerie is also the author of Piedmont Style Country Blues Guitar Basics, an independently published book acquired by the Library of Congress. Her eclectic repertoire is heavily influenced by the years spent studying with John Cephas (a world-renowned Country Blues musician in the Piedmont style) and Woody Mann (a Juilliard-trained student of Rev. Gary Davis). Valerie’s guitar playing is reminiscent of traditional blues greats like Mississippi John Hurt, Etta Baker, and Elizabeth Cotten. Valerie and her husband Benedict perform as the Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo and, in addition to a host of domestic venues and festivals, these tradition bearers have traveled as far as Europe and the Middle East to share their music. (Photo - Sidney Danz)

Benedict Turner is a roots percussionist specializing in lap-style washboard. He and his wife, Valerie Turner, comprise the Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo, dedicated performers and preservationists of Piedmont-style musical traditions. Benedict occasionally chimes in on bones or harp for added accents, and his subtle touches add just the right amount of texture. An inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame and a Music to Life Juried Artist, Benedict is the "beat" of this duo. He has studied with Washboard Chaz of Louisiana fame, as well as with Newman Taylor Baker of the Ebony Hillbillies. Inspired by these two talented percussionists and influenced by the melodic and percussive sounds of the steel drums of his birthplace, Trinidad and Tobago, Benedict developed his unique style of playing washboard. As a professional Graphic Designer and Sr. Art Director, he curates vintage washboards and bells from around the world to create his unique line of Darlington Washboards which feature detailed carvings and sculpted attachments. Benedict is also the Creative Director of the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation. (Photo - Sidney Danz)