Keynote Speaker, Indie Rocker, Electric Violinist and Singer/Songwriter for Disney & Off-Broadway
Val Vigoda is a classical violinist turned rebel rocker who became a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army before going on to tour the world with iconic rock stars such as Cyndi Lauper, Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Shredding a 6-string electric violin, she formed the acclaimed indie band GrooveLily, which put out 8 albums as they toured for over a decade, playing 150 shows a year.
They became a breakout hit off-Broadway with an innovative, original rock musical featuring them as both the band and the actors—pioneering a trend still active on Broadway today. That led to a decade’s worth of commissions for some of the most highly respected theaters in America, as well as for Disney, who tapped them first to adapt Toy Story into a musical for Disney Cruise Line, and then to write over 20 new songs for their theme parks and animated films.
Val has taught at Stanford, Emerson College, Berklee College of Music and the University of Washington, and delights in giving keynote speeches where the message is enhanced by music—inspiring thousands with her powerful call to courage and the vulnerabilities she shares. She has a surprising comedic knack and a disarming talent for engaging audiences through her dynamic musical keynotes, unlike ordinary speakers.
Her unique journey of repeatedly facing into her greatest fears, rising to challenges with resilience and creativity, resonates with anyone who has ever felt uncertainty, insecurity, or stagnation in a fast-changing world. With her six-string electric violin, unforgettable stories, and magnetic stage presence, she brings an irrepressible buoyant spirit to every audience she encounters, transforming and uplifting the energy of even the most reluctant and staid groups. Val gives people the inspiration to connect with their own courage and optimism and step into their truest, most innovative and fearless selves.
Val lives in Los Angeles with her son Mose and continues to create projects for the stage and screen.