Triple Play Featuring Bill O'Connell, Dave Valentin and Richie Flores

Triple Play Featuring Bill O'Connell, Dave Valentin and Richie Flores

 New York City, New York, USA
BandJazzLatin

Without a horn section, without claves or massed percussion, pianist Bill O'Connell and Triple Play capture the essence of Latin jazz

Biography

As a complete rarity in jazz, the piano/flute/percussion triumvirate is nothing less than inspired. But it couldn't work without the high quality of the participants. Players of this caliber ensure that things never get too pat or too pretty.

A native New Yorker who studied classical music at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Early in his career, he played in various salsa and jazz settings that set the tone for his musical style. In 1977, he joined salsa great Mongo Santamaria, writing and performing with him for over two years. Following that he worked with Chet Baker and jazz legend Sonny Rollins with whom he toured the United States and Europe. In 1982, he joined Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin, and they have been touring the world
together ever since, performing before enthusiastic audiences everywhere.

Bill, an internationally recognized composer, has his original compositions on CDs by Mongo Santamaria, Emily Remler, Charles Fambrough, and on virtually every recording made by flutist Dave Valentin. One of Valentin's most requested songs, "Oasis", which was recorded by the GRP Allstars for the CD, "GRP Live in Session", is one of Bill's original compositions.

Over the years, Bill has displayed his versatility with numerous other jazz artists including Gato Barbieri, the Fort Apache Band, and vocalists Jon Lucien, Kenny Rankin, and Astrud Gilberto. His six solo recordings, "Searching" on the Inner City label, "Love for Sale" on the Pony Canyon Label, "Signature, featuring Bill O'Connell" on the Blue Moon Mesa label, "Lost Voices" on the CTI label, "Black Sand" and "Latin Jazz Fantasy" on the Random Chance label have received wide critical acclaim throughout the world. On four separate occasions, Bill was the recipient of the coveted "Jazz Writer of the Year" award from SESAC, the performing rights organization. Bill is currently performing with trombonist Conrad Herwig, Dave Valentin and his own band.

Dave Valentin started playing Latin percussion at the age of five and began performing professionally at the age of eleven. At the late age of sixteen he picked up the flute for the first time. After purchasing an album recorded by Hubert Laws, he looked up his name in the Musicians Directory (Union Book), called him and asked for lessons. Mr. Laws is one of the best jazz flutists in the
world. For the next six months he was Dave's mentor. He then took the next three months to train classically with Harold Bennett and three months of training with Harold Jones.

Dave went back to work at his old JHS after school program called "Change Through Music." He taught Latin Jazz to the inner city kids, and was able to involve gang members in this program, thus giving back to his community. He accepted a position as a full time professor teaching Latin and music for several years. His work and dedication influenced many children to continue their education. Dave has become an extraordinary role model, and feels it is up to people in his position to make a change. He accepts this challenge with open arms.

In 1977, Dave made his recording debut with Ricardo Marrero's group and he was also on a Noel Pointer album. Discovered by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, Valentin was the first artist signed to GRP. Dave recorded over 15 albums for GRP, combining the influence of pop, R&B and Brazilian music with Latin jazz to create a slick and accessible form of crossover jazz.

In 2005, Dave Valentin signed an exclusive recording agreement with New York-based HighNote Records. His first recording, "World On a String" (HighNote HCD 7141), was issued in June of that year. His latest HighNote outing, "Come Fly With Me" (HighNote HCD 7160) was released in September, 2006.

Richie Flores, one of the most in-demand percussionists of today's active music scene has captured the attention of fans and critics alike by way of his electric performances that continually thrill audiences worldwide. Recently described by Latin Beat Magazine as having "the fastest hands in the East and the
West," Richie's music is primal and powerful. He is currently in the process of innovating a new sound for the band of which he is leading; an exciting, contemporary fusion containing elements of rap, jazz and even salsa, further complemented by lyrics that contain a positive message of hope, a message that is relevant to the challenging issues we face in today's ever changing world.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, Richie was a prodigious talent as a young child that began playing congas at the early age of 5. He embarked on his professional career by age 8 playing with Grupo Batacumbele and Roberto Roena and the Apollo Sound. By age 13, he traveled to
New York to play with Roberto Roena at the Village Gate, making him one of the youngest musicians ever to travel with a band outside of Puerto Rico. With this successful start under his belt, Richie's musical career continued to evolve by playin

Discography

Triple Play (Savant)
Latin Jazz Fantasy (Random Chance)
Black Sand (Random Chance)