Dave Valentin enjoys a fine reputation as a composer, arranger, and band leader in addition to being the most celebrated Latin flutist today. After studying with the great Hubert Laws, the multi-Grammy nominee developed the unusual techniques that feature slapping the keys of his instrument so it sounds like a percussion instrument, and singing into the flute while playing, generating harmonies from a single flute. These techniques, and more, are all on display on his new CD -- "Pure Imagination"-- that features a half-dozen tunes written by his long-time friend and colleague, pianist Bill O'Connell.
Among the most talented and resourceful figures in the exciting Miami Latin jazz scene, Venezuelan pianist Silvano Monasterios leads the way as a top-rated figure. Both as a performer and composer, he is among the most gifted today, and his piano playing and compositions have appeared on recordings by artists including Dave Liebman, Donald Byrd, Paquito D'Rivera, Randy Brecker and Dee Dee Bridgewater. With his new quintet, Silvano has recorded eight new and imaginative compositions for the CD "Unconditional." It showcases an artist with a complete understanding of his complex Venezuelan roots, who understands the Austro-Germanic-European compositional heritage, and who is steeped in the great American jazz tradition.