Bobby Valentín

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Bobby Valentin
Born (1941-06-09) June 9, 1941 (age 79)
OriginOrocovis, Puerto Rico
Occupation(s)Musician and bandleader
InstrumentsBass guitar

Roberto "Bobby" Valentín (born June 9, 1941), is a musician and salsa bandleader. He is known as "El Rey del Bajo" (King of the Bass).

Early years[edit]

Valentín was born in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. He was taught by his father to play the guitar at a young age. When his mother died in 1947, he went to live with his older sister and was raised in the town of Coamo where he received his primary education and studied music. When he was 11 years old, he participated in a local talent contest with a trio that he had formed. He played the guitar and sang for the trio and they won the first place prize. One of his teachers suggested that he attend the Jose I. Quinton Academy of Music, which he did. It was there that he learned to play the trumpet.[1]

In 1956, Valentín moved with his family to New York City where he attended George Washington High School and continued to take music lessons. In 1958, he went to play for Joe Quijano but, shortly after, he played in the band of Willie Rosario, who was from the same neighborhood.[2]

Musical career[edit]

In 1963, Valentín joined Tito Rodriguez (after not being hired by Tito in a recording session because of his age, he was given a chance and was added to his regular band) and traveled twice with Tito's orchestra to Venezuela. He also made musical arrangements for Tito and at times for Charlie Palmieri, Joe Quijano, Willie Rosario, and Ray Barretto. In 1965, he formed his own band and was signed by the Fania Record Label. He recorded "El Mensajero" (The Messenger) and "Young Man With a Horn". He held his first concert in Puerto Rico during that period of time. After several years with the same lead singer (Marcelino Morales) they parted and Bobby introduced a new singer by the name Frankie Hernandez. Frankie gave Bobby one of his biggest hits "Huracan". About a year after he introduced a second singer by the name of Marvin Santiago; with him he had many hits, including "Soy Boricua" and "Jibaro y La Naturaleza." In 1975 Bobby left Fania Records and formed his own record label by the name of Bronco records in which he first recorded a live album from the Puerto Rican prison. After Frankie left the band he introduced a new singer to join Marvin by the name of Johnny Vazquez (who remained in the band for over 15 years.) After Marvin left the band a new and fresh voice joined by the name of Carlos "Cano" Estremera (who remained in the band for 7 years). Johnny and him were a power house: between the two, they made hits like "La Boda de Ella" and "La Espinita." In 1980 a new voice joined Cano and Johnny that being the voice of Rafu Warner. these three and Bobby were unstoppable for several years they made hits like "El Gato" and "Cuando Uno Se Enamora." In 1982 Cano recorded an album where only he sung and made a huge hit of the song "El Caiman." In 1983 Rafu and Johnny were the only two to sing in the album and they had a huge hit with the song "Brujeria." In 1984 Cano and Bobby released the huge album hit of "En Accion" after this album release Cano left the band to form his own band. In 1985 a new voice joined to replace Cano by the name of Luisito Carrion who made a hit immediately he joined called "Me Diste de tu Agua" in 1985. In 1986 Bobby released the album that featured the huge hit "Part Time Lover" a cover of the Stevie Wonder song in Spanish sung by Rafu Warner. In 1988 he released the album that featured "Yo No Te Dejo De Amar" a Michael Jackson cover of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in Spanish sung by Rafu Warner which also became a huge hit. In 1989 he released a more erotic album which wasn't as successful and didn't have any huge hits but featured a new singer that replaced Rafu who had left a year before by the name of Tato Peña he only lasted a couple albums in the band but in the following album "Como Nunca" released in 1990 he recorded the big hit "Si Un Dia Te Sientes Sola." After Luisito left a new voice by the name of Giovanni Lugo joined the band and recorded the hit "Complicacion" in the same album in 1990. After that album he released an album 1996 called "Symbol of Prestige" where he introduced two new singers including a woman and a man by the names of Marima and Juan Jose Hernandez who did not last long in the band. In 2001 he released an album called "La Gran Reunion" which featured about seven invited artists including but not limited to; Nestor Sanchez, Luigi Texidor and Frankie Hernandez. After a seven year hiatus Bobby returned with his album "Evolution" in 2008 with many singers but the very well known Ray De La Paz who sung with Louie Ramirez. In 2016 after another hiatus he released the album "Mi Ritmo Es Bueno" with three different not very popular Puerto Rican singers. In 2018 he released the completely instrumental and Latin Jazz based "Mind of a Master" which explored his beginnings in Jazz music. As of 2020 he is still performing all around the world and still performing his old classics.


  • 1965- Young Man With A Horn (Fania 00332)
  • 1966- Ritmo Pa' Gozar/El Mensajero (Disco Hit 2024)
  • 1967- Bad Breath (Fania 00335)
  • 1968- Let's Turn On/Arrebatarnos (Fania 00343)
  • 1969- Se La Comió (Fania 00366)
  • 1970- Algo Nuevo/Something New (Fania 00401)
  • 1971- Rompecabezas (Fania 00418)
  • 1972- Soy Boricua (Fania 00439)
  • 1973- El Rey Del Bajo (00457)
  • 1974- In Motion (Fania 00469)
  • 1975- Va A La Carcel Vol. 1 (Bronco 101)
  • 1975- Va A La Carcel Vol. 2 (Bronco 102)
  • 1976- Afuera (Bronco 104)
  • 1977- Musical Seduction (Bronco 106)
  • 1978- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 107)
  • 1979- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 111)
  • 1980- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 114)
  • 1981- Siempre En Forma (Bronco 120)
  • 1982- Vicentico Valdés y la Orquesta Bobby Valentin (Bronco 121)
  • 1982- Presenta Al Cano Estremera (Bronco 124)
  • 1983- En La Lejania (Bronco 125)
  • 1983- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 126)
  • 1984- En Acción (Bronco 129)
  • 1985- Presenta Orquesta Siguaraya (Bronco 133)
  • 1985- Algo Excepcional (Bronco 135)
  • 1986- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 143)
  • 1988- Bobby Valentin (Bronco 148)
  • 1989- Mas Amor (Bronco 153)
  • 1991- Como Nunca (Bronco 157)
  • 1997- Symbol Of Prestige (Bronco 166)
  • 2001- La Gran Reunion (Bronco 170)
  • 2004- ¡En Vivo! 35 Aniversario- Vuelve A la Carcel (Bronco 171)
  • 2008- Evolution (Bronco 176)
  • 2016- Mi Ritmo Es Bueno (Bronco 178)
  • 2018- Mind Of A Master (Bronco 179)

Later years[edit]

Valentin continues to record and play with his band, he released La Gran Reunion (The Grand Reunion). In 2004, Valentin's En Vivo Desde Bellas Artes was released in DVD form as was his 35 Anniversary "Vuelve a la Carcel." As of 2006, Valentin's "El Caiman" can be heard (or played) in the video game Scarface. In 2008, he released his album Evolution. After an eight-year break he released his album Mi Ritmo Es Bueno. In 2018, he released an album that took him back to his Latin Jazz routes titled Mind of a Master. As of 2019 he continues having concerts around the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Artists - Bobby Valentin - Music of Puerto Rico".
  2. ^ "Q&A: A Conversation With Bobby Valentin".

External links[edit]