We caught up with Grammy Award winner Dave Valentin, at Willie’s Steak House in the Bronx section of New York CIty – we were there to hear Willie Rodriguez and his group regale us with those consistently great Latin Jazz tunes that keep us coming back every first Wednesday of the month. Now the music was hot enough, but when Dave added his touch it just kicked it into over drive. This was a very special night as you can see by the photo, it was the emmy arrived, the emmy arrived night. The set was in full swing with other musicians sitting in and enhancing the performance, in the audience were Jimmy Sabater, and Ada Chabrier, whom also sat in to deliver some classics and ensure that the final ingredients in the guiso were just right. It was indeed an all star night.
It is very apparent to us after witnessing several performances that the combination of Willie Rodriguez and Dave Valentin is a great one, and one which featured several impromptu guest performances. Now if you’ve never been to Willie’s there’s one thing you ought to know, Proprietor Kenneth Giordano knows his music and is very selective about whom plays there. The audience, well they are a tough, and for the most part very savvy.
But on this night somewhere during the second set the place was filled with a unique magic as the rhythms were expertly mixed with vocals to create an electric atmosphere, it all was captured on video tape by the producer of “Tributos a Borinquen” a Queens, NY Public Television show Mr. Angel Ricardo.
In the audience seated at the back of the room was none other than Jimmy Bosch, just chilling with the crowd. That is the beauty of Willie’s is that you never know whom will stop by.
Here is a picture of our editor with Nicky Marrero up to his zany antics in response to asking “do you have a lighter I can borrow”.
I got to say that Willie Rodriguez has the best musicians in his ensemble. The group not only has it all together but put on one heck of a show.
Editor´s note: There are many musicians whom frequent Willie’s Steak House, it’s a pretty open atmosphere where you can sit in with some of the Latin Jazz greats, but you should be forewarned if you can’t cut it don’t even attempt to jump in. Most musicians are open to other musicians sitting in on their sets, other’s are not.. We’ve seen many great musicians both established and up and coming, grace the stage at Willie’s to add another dimension of sofrito to the guizos. To all the musicians we say thank you.
Till next time,