Valentin at the World Music and Dance Centre, March 2008
|Birth name||David Joseph Valentin|
April 29, 1952|
South Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 8, 2017
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Latin jazz, smooth jazz, salsa|
|Labels||CTI, GRP, Highnote|
David Joseph Valentin (April 29, 1952 – March 8, 2017) was an American Latin jazz flautist.
Life and career
Valentin was born to Puerto Rican parents in The Bronx in New York City. He attended The High School of Music & Art. He learned percussion at an early age, and by 10 was playing conga and timbales professionally. When he was 12, he began to practice the flute so he could get to know a girl in school who played the flute, Irene Cathcart. He borrowed a flute, bought a Herbie Mann record, and started to teach himself. Years later, he recorded an album with Mann called Two Amigos. He took lessons from Hubert Laws, who became his mentor.
In the 1970s, Valentin combined Latin music with jazz in bands with Bill O'Connell, Lincoln Goines, Richie Morales, Robby Ameen, Sammy Figueroa, and Giovanni Hidalgo. He was the first musician signed to GRP Records, a label founded by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen that specialized in smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and jazz-pop. He recorded his debut album with Ricardo Marrero in 1977. Over time he recorded with Noel Pointer, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Chris Connor, David Benoit, Eliane Elias, and Nnenna Freelon.
For seven years in a row, he was chosen best jazz flautist by readers of Jazziz magazine. In 1985, he received a Grammy Award nomination. In 2003, he won a Grammy for Caribbean Jazz Project, an album he did with Dave Samuels.
In March 2012, Valentin had a stroke which left him partially paralyzed and unable to perform. In 2015 he suffered a second stroke, and worked hard to overcome his disabilities in an extended care facility. He and Irene remained friends for 53 years; she assisted his care and recovery and administered a Facebook group called "Friends of Dave Valentin". Irene welcomed everyone to join and post pictures, stories, their memories with Valentin in the group.
- Legends (GRP, 1979)
- The Hawk (GRP, 1980)
- Land of the Third Eye (GRP, 1980)
- I Got It Right This Time (Arista, 1981)
- Pied Piper (GRP, 1981)
- In Love's Time (Arista/GRP, 1982)
- Flute Juice (GRP, 1983)
- Kalahari (GRP, 1984)
- Jungle Garden (GRP, 1985)
- Light Struck (GRP, 1986)
- Mind Time (GRP, 1987)
- Live at the Blue Note (GRP, 1988)
- Two Amigos (GRP, 1990)
- Musical Portraits (GRP, 1992)
- Red Sun (GRP, 1993)
- Tropic Heat (GRP, 1994)
- Sunshower (Concord Jazz, 1999)
- Primitive Passions (RMM, 2005)
- World on a String (Highnote, 2005)
- Come Fly With Me (Highnote, 2006)
- Pure Imagination (Highnote, 2011)
- "Dave Valentin". All About Jazz. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Rye, Howard (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 172. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
- Gonzalez, David (3 June 2011). "Dave Valentin Hangs With Cool Cats, at Home and David performed his first song at their Spring Concert ~Wes Montgomery's ~ "The Joker" along with his Jazz Quartet. Away". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "A Special Valentine for Dave Valentin". The Bronx Chronicle. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Gonzalez, David (5 January 2014). "Latin Jazz Stalwart Struggles to Make Sweet Sounds Again". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Roberts, Sam (March 8, 2017). "Dave Valentin, a Grammy Award-Winning Latin Jazz Flutist, Dies at 64". The New York Times. p. B14.
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