David Valentin, 29 April 1952, New York City, New York, USA. Valentins 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.
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