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Dave Valentin, Flutist
Puerto Rican jazz flutist Dave Valentin first learned Latin percussion when he was a teenager, and then switched to flute. His teacher, Hubert Laws, suggested that he not double on saxophone because of his attractive sound on the flute.
In 1977, Valentin made his recording debut with Ricardo Marrero's group and he appeared also on a Noel Pointer album. After being discovered by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, Valentin was the first artist signed to GRP; he has been a popular attraction ever since, having 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. Since the mid-2000s, Valentin, who prides himself as keeper of the flame of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's flute performance style, 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.