The jazz flutist and Grammy winner Dave Valentin (Music & Art, 1970) has toured the world as a headliner, playing with everyone from Tito Puente to McCoy Tyner. He started playing Latin percussion at the age of 5 and began performing professionally at 11. Dave has studied with Hubert Laws, Harold Bennett and Harold Jones.
After a career that would be envied by many, Dave is now mostly alone in his modest home of 59 years. A stroke in 2012 left him paralyzed on his right side and though he is now walking and has recovered about 85 percent of his dexterity, he cannot yet practice or play. He requires an attendant, gets food from Meals on Wheels, and is finding it difficult to make ends meet. Like many other artists of his generation, most of his income came from playing onstage and royalties hardly cover his living expenses. Without any financial assistance he will leave the only neighborhood he has known and find new housing.
For more about him, please read this New York Times article. A feature was also recently written up in the Times updating Dave's condition. You can find it here.
What We Need
Dave has become a well-known and loved figure in his neighborhood in the Bronx, where he's lived his whole life. We want to help him stay in his home where he has a strong support network in his community. He will need $25,000 to cover rent, utilities and medical expenses.
Throughout his career, Dave has given back to kids in the South Bronx, his community and elsewhere teaching Latin jazz to inner city kids and gang members. His work and dedication influenced many children to continue their education and he feels very proud to be a part of what they have accomplished. Dave has been an extraordinary role model, and always felt that it is up to people in his position to make a change. Now it’s our turn to give back to Dave.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please share this page with your friends, fellow high school alumni and neighbors - anyone who you think could help Dave get through this difficult time. Thank you so much!