Dave Valentin became one of the pre-eminent flutists in Latin jazz. He was known for his creative combination of fusion, pop and R&B.
He won a Grammy in 2003 for best Latin jazz album for “The Gathering,” by the Caribbean Jazz Project. Vibraphonist Dave Samuels was also featured on that record.
Manager Richie Bonilla told news agencies that Valentin, 64, who had suffered multiple strokes over the last several years, died Wednesday from stroke complications and Parkinson’s disease.
When he was five years old, Valentin started playing bongos and congas. His father, who was in the Merchant Marine, had brought them home from Brazil.
Finding one’s calling in life is never easy, and for jazz saxophonist, pianist, flutist, and clarinet player Carol Sudhalter, that proved to be an exceptionally rocky path, despite growing up in a family of jazz musicians.
“It’s a funny thing. I didn’t even think that I would be a jazz musician,” said Sudhalter. “I grew up on jazz. I loved it. I followed bands around … [but] I was a biology major in college. Then all of a sudden, in the summer before my last year, I started therapy because I was in a depression. After therapy, I realized I didn’t want to be a biologist.”
Even though she still loved biology, Sudhalter knew that she had to pick up an instrument.
When Rus Perry arrived at WTJU in 1972, he was really into rock ’n’ roll. But the more he hung out at the station, the more he expanded his musical horizons, playing the latest Bruce Springsteen or Elvis Costello cut next to Ornette Coleman or Blind Lemon Jefferson.
“We learned from each other,” Perry recalls, reading liner notes that led from one artist to another. “My introduction to jazz was curated by friends and acquaintances who knew the music. That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” he says.
With his “Jazz at 100” series now airing Fridays on WTJU, Perry introduces listeners to the history of recorded jazz—which began 100 years ago, on February 26, 1917, with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s “Livery Stable Blues”/“Dixie Jazz Band One-Step” recording.