Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and GOYA FOODS present Latin music and Fania All-Star legend BOBBY VALENTIN for a celebration of his 50-year career on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at 8 pm. In this 50th Anniversary Celebration of BOBBY VALENTIN, “El Rey del Bajo”, we honor the grand impact Valentin has had on the entire salsa genre as he performs with his thirteen-piece orchestra classics, “Libro de Amor”, “Cuando te Vea”, “Tu Rica Boca”, and “Buen Corazon”. Produced by Lehman Center and Jose Raposo.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for BOBBY VALENTIN on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at 8pm are $125*VIP, $75, $55, and $50 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The HAVANA CAFÉ, Havana Club Rum and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine, beer, Havana Club Rum & hors d’oeuvres reception will start at 6:30 pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. At the reception meet other patrons and the staff of Lehman Center. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Havana Club Puerto Rican Rum. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5.

BOBBY VALENTIN, known as “El Rey del Bajo,” is a salsa trumpet, flugelhorn, and bass player, arranger, and bandleader that was born in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. His family moved to Coamo when he was six and his father, a local cuatro player, taught him to play guitar. Forming a trio with two friends, he played guitar and sang in local festivals. At age 12, Valentin enrolled in Coamo’s José Ignacio Quintón Academy of Music where he studied the trumpet. Three years later, his family moved to Washington Heights in New York City, where Bobby attended George Washington High School and played with several semi-pro groups: Israel Mercado’s group; Los Satelites, a band he formed with Chu Hernandez and Joe Quijano; and a guitar trio with Paquito Guzmán and Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez. After graduating high school, Valentin played trumpet for Quijano’s new pachanga orchestra Conjunto Cachana, a band that also included Charlie Palmieri, Hermán González, Bobby Nelson and Paquito Guzmán. He recorded two albums with Conjunto Cachana- Mr. Pachanga in Changa (1959) and La Pachanga Se Baila Asi (1962). From 1961 to 1963, Valentin also performed with the orchestra of timbale player Willie Rosario, contributing the arrangements for “Guaguancó Bonito” and “Dame Tu Amor Morenita” on the1963 album El Bravo Soy Yo. In 1963, he joined the formidable Tito Rodríguez orchestra, traveling to Venezuela twice with the band. From 1964 to 1965, he was a member of Ray Barretto’s Charanga Moderna, playing trumpet and for the first time with a band, the bass. Forming his orchestra, Valentin recorded his first album El Mensajero in the spring of 1965, debuting publicly at the Limbo Lounge in Queens, NY that November. Valentin had been good friends with Johnny Pacheco from the days when his charanga band shared the stage with Tito Rodríguez. Moreover, Valentin was one of Pacheco’s first regular arrangers for his Nuevo Tumbao. By way of Pacheco, Valentin became acquainted with Jerry Masucci, who ran a recently founded label: Fania Records. Shortly after that, Valentin inked his first five-year contract with the recording company, releasing the albums Young Man With A Horn (1966), Bad Breath (1967), and Let’s Turn On (Arrebatarnos) (1968). In 1968, he played trumpet on the first Fania All-Stars recording, Live at the Red Garter, which also featured Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Ricardo Ray, and Bobby Cruz.

In 1968, Valentin moved back to Puerto Rico, playing in the Orquesta Ingenieria in Mayagüez, Lito Peña’s Orquesta Panamericana, as well as his own orchestra, recording in 1969 Se La Comio that featured the songs “Guarambémbere” and “Son Son Charari”, and 1970’s Algo Nuevo (Something New) with the hit song “Huracán”. Valentin made frequent trips back to New York City to record and contribute arrangements for the Fania All Stars as they revolutionized the salsa genre. 1972 saw the release of Live at the Cheetah Volumes 1 and 2, which had been recorded and filmed live in 1971 and became the largest selling live Latin recording to date, as well as Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa). In August 1973, they recorded their historic Live at Yankee Stadium concert before an audience of 45,000 fans, which was subsequently released as a two-volume album in 1975. 1974’s Latin-Soul-Rock was the first album to contain material from the stadium concert (“Congo Bongo” and “El Ratón”), as well as five studio tracks. Valentin also performed on the Fania All Stars albums Tribute to Tito Rodriguez (1976), Rhythm Machine (1977), Spanish Fever (1978), and the superb California Jam (1980) amongst others. During the same period Valentin continued to record with his orchestra for Fania, releasing Rompecabezas (1972), the seminal Puerto Rican album Soy Boricua (1972) which featured the hit “Pirata de la Mar”, Rey Del Bajo (1974), and In Motion (1974), all of which featured the late Marvin Santiago as lead vocalist.

In 1974, Valentin founded his record label Bronco Records. Over the years, artists like Willie Rosario, Raphy Leavitt y Su Orquesta La Selecta, Orquesta Mulenze, Luisito Ayala and Orquesta Puerto Rican Power, and Orquesta Siguaraya would record for the label. The label’s first release is the two-volume Va a la Carcel (1975), recorded live with Valentin’s orchestra at “El Oso Bianco,” the now-defunct Puerto Rico State Penitentiary. In 1978, he opened his recording studio, Masterpiece Recording Studios. His orchestra has recorded more than two dozen albums on the Bronco label with highlights such as 1978’s Bobby Valentin that included one of the most important songs of his career “La Boda de Ella”; 1980’s Bobby Valentin which featured the hit “Manuel Garcia” sung by El Cano Estremera; 1986’s Bobby Valentin with “Tributo a Cali” sung by Luisito Carrión; 2002’s 35th Anniversary Vuelve a la Carcel that featured guest artists that included Cheo Feliciano, Papo Lucca, Roberto Roena, Giovanni Hidalgo, Luigi Texidor, Charlie Aponte, and Rubén Blades among others; 2007’s Latin Grammy nominated Evolution with guest Ray de la Paz; and 2016’s Latin Grammy nominated Mi Ritmo es Bueno. His most recent album, the all-jazz CD Bobby Valentin, and the LJs: Mind of a Master is scheduled to be released this month.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2018 Winter/Spring Season is made possible by Goya Foods, Con Edison, TD Bank, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the friends of Lehman Center.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


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