Dave Valentin

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For the Scottish rugby union, and rugby league footballer of the 1940s and '50s, see Dave Valentine.
Dave Valentin
Dave Valentin at the World Music and Dance Centre in March 2008.
Background information
Born (1952-04-29) April 29, 1952 (age 64)
New York City
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Flutist
Instruments Flute, Latin percussion
Years active 1977 - 2012
Labels CTI, GRP, HNR
Associated acts The Blackout All-Stars, Patti Austin, Ricardo Marrero, Noel Pointer, Dave Grusin, Tito Puente

Dave Valentin (born April 29, 1952, in New York City[1]) is a jazz flutist.

Starting at 5 years old Dave learned latin percussion, and was an accomplished pianist before he entered JHS. His interest in flute started in 7th grade at JHS 133. He wanted to meet a girl that played flute. Her name was Irene. He asked her to show him a few scales. In a month, David was playing the flute and his first performance was in the School Spring concert. He performed "The Joker". He went to The High School of Music and Art as a percussion major. Valentin's teacher, Hubert Laws, suggested that he not double on saxophone because of his attractive sound on the flute. He studied at the Bronx Community College. He is of Puerto Rican descent.

In 1977, he made his recording debut with Riccardo Marrero's group and he appeared also on a Noel Pointer album. Discovered by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, Valentin was the first artist signed to GRP and he has been a popular attraction ever since. Valentin has recorded over 15 albums, combining the influence of pop, R&B, and Brazilian music with Latin and smooth jazz to create a slick and accessible form of crossover jazz. In 2000, he appeared in the documentary film, Calle 54, performing with Tito Puente. He toured with El Negro and MioSotis. Since the mid-2000s, Valentin has been signed to Highnote Records releasing World On A String (2005) and Come Fly With Me (2006). He has done several collaborations with pianist Bill O'Connell and was a nominee for the Latin Grammy Awards of 2006. Dave has also helped launch the careers of other artists (such as Angela Bofill, by introducing her to the producers Grusin and Rosen of GRP Records).


  • Havana Candy (CTI, 1977) with Patti Austin
  • Legends (GRP, 1978)
  • The Hawk (GRP, 1979)
  • Land of the Third Eye (GRP, 1980)
  • Pied Piper (GRP, 1981)
  • In Love's Time (Arista, GRP, 1982)
  • Flute Juice (GRP, 1983)
  • Kalahari (GRP, 1984)
  • Dave Grusin / Lee Ritenour / Diane Schuur / Dave Valentin - GRP Live In Session (GRP, 1985)
  • Jungle Garden (GRP, 1985)
  • Light Struck (GRP, 1986)
  • Mind Time (GRP, 1987)
  • Live At The Blue Note (GRP, 1988)
  • Dave Valentin, Herbie Mann - Two Amigos (GRP, 1990)
  • Musical Portraits (GRP, 1992)
  • Red Sun (GRP, 1993)
  • Tropic Heat (GRP, 1994)
  • Sunshower (CR, 1999)
  • Primitive Passions (UMGR, 2005)
  • Come Fly With Me (HNR, 2006)
  • Pure Imagination (HNR, 2011)

Dave Valentin also won a Grammy for the Latin jazz category at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003. The Grammy was for the album "Caribbean Jazz Project", with Dave Samuels.[citation needed]

On March 3, 2012, Valentin was hospitalized after suffering a stroke during a performance at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis.[citation needed] On July 01 2014, at Hostos Center in the Bronx, Under the Musical Direction and Recording Musician ~ Pianist Bill O'Connell, with Nelson González as the Assistant Musical Director ~~ PARA TI: A BENEFIT FOR DAVE VALENTIN took place. Many musicians friends of Dave performed pieces they had previously performed together. Performing musicians included Arturo O’Farrill, Valerie Capers, Rubén Rodríguez, Andy González, Papo Vázquez, Eddy Zervigón, Robby Ameen, Bobby Sanabria, Nicky Marrero, Anthony Carrillo, Roland Guerrero, and others. Richie Bonilla stated David "was grateful for the support of the community and his musician friends", and "looked forward to attending the concert at Hostos." David was doing well at that time and had regained speech and the ability to walk, as he showed those in attendance of the very well attended Concert.

Sadly, David had a second stroke on March 16/17th of March 2015 which has made a setback in his recovery. We ALL are grateful for the years of strength and beautiful music David shared world wide. He also taught reading, math and music to students as a young teacher himself. He has performed at many charity concerts to help those in need. On Facebook is a group "Friends of Dave Valentin." It was started by the same Irene that shared those first scales. Fifty years later they are still Friends. Please join us there if you would like to post your stories, pictures, memories, and share how David influenced your life and/or musical careers. It is also a way to post a message and show your love and support as he works through the challenges that now faces him in his current recovery.


  1. ^ "Valentin, Dave." Contemporary Musicians. Ed. Leigh Ann DeRemer. Vol. 33. Gale Group, Inc., 2002. eNotes.com. 2006. 14 Apr, 2008 <http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/valentin-dave-biography>

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