Dave Valentin Biography

David Valentin, 29 April 1952, New York City, New York, USA. Valentin’s family was of Puerto Rican descent and from an early age he was immersed in Latin American music. He played bongos and conga drums, working in clubs from the age of 12. He was also playing flute and in the early 70s began to concentrate on this instrument, studying with Hubert Laws but also added the alto flute and piccolo. He continued performing and in addition to appearing in clubs he recorded with Ricardo Marrero and Noel Pointer. He was among the first artists to be signed by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen for their fledgling GRP Records and his albums quickly became very popular in the growing market for Brazilian, salsa, merengue and other Latin-tinged musical forms. Bringing to all of these an abiding interest in jazz and R&B, Valentin was able to capture the interest of a worldwide market, achieving a Grammy nomination in 1985 as best R&B instrumentalist.

He was also musical director for Tito Puente. In 1999, Valentin made his debut for Concord Records with Sunshower. Still resident in the Bronx, the New York borough in which he was born, he was active as an educator, fund-raiser and role model, receiving numerous citations for his work in these areas and also for his cultural contributions to the Puerto Rican community. Valentin is an accomplished and tasteful performer, bringing to the flute intriguing percussive qualities unusual among players of this instrument. Although his customary playing style is calm and smoothly thoughtful, his occasional use of funky touches add immeasurably to the interest and doubtless contributes greatly to his continuing popularity.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.