Jazz musicians, Village community in tribute to flautist Dave Valentin

Dave Valentin
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

On March 3, 2012 Grammy Award-winning flutist Dave Valentin was hospitalized after suffering a stroke during a performance at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. After hospitalization for 10 days following his return to New York City home, Valentin has made remarkable strides on the road to eventual recovering, but is still unable to perform publicly.

In order to help the beloved flutist meet his continuing financial obligations during his recuperation, many of his friends will gather to stage a benefit tribute to him at Le Poisson Rouge, located on the 158 Bleecker Street site of the old Village Gate.

For nearly two decades Le Poisson Rouge on Monday nights hosted the greatest names in jazz and Latin music performing together before packed houses of listeners and dancers under the banner, Salsa Meets Jazz.

The space will once again pulsate with the sound of jazz soloists improvising to the AfroCuban rhythms of salsa.

The evening will offer older listeners the chance to relive some of the seminal sounds that once filled the room and younger ones a rare opportunity to experience an evening that will undoubtedly rekindle the fire that once burned hotly in the Bleecker Street basement.

With players such as the bassist-bandleader Andy Gonzalez with Manny Oquendo’s Libre (one of the series’ most popular groups) and guest soloists Sonny Fortune and Steve Turre (two soloists who performed with band many times), former Libre trombonist, composer/bandleader Papo Vazquez with his Mighty Pirate Troubadours and Valentin’s own rhythm section backing vibraphonist Dave Samuels of Caribbean Jazz Project fame, the night is sure to be one to remember, with several famous surprise guests expected.

For those unable to attend who wish to support Valentin on his road to recovery, tax deductible donations can be sent to the laudable organization that has already begun to help the flutist in his time of need, The Jazz Foundation of America, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Checks or money orders should note Dave Valentin in the memo line.

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