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Artist Spotlight: Josè Valentino

When you look at José Valentino's career, it is hard not to be struck by the impact this young artist has made on the field of music and education. Just this first dynamite sentence from his webpage bio hits you with the realization that this cat is for real.

"An expert in both music and television industries, Dr. José Valentino Ruiz holds the distinction of being an EMMY® Award Winning television music producer and composer, a multi-Latin GRAMMY® Award Nominated artist-producer-mastering engineer, a participating recording engineer and featured artist for a Latin GRAMMY® Award Winning album, a professor and program director at a Tier 1 Research University, Sony Music recording artist and composer, and an internationally-acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and educator known for his passionate performances, versatility, and fluid expression on the flute, saxophone, bass, piano, and Latin percussion."

And that was our impression when we invited José to collaborate on the making of Felices Días. From the moment he sat behind the console, to the last edit, José exudes an energy that is full of creativity and drive.

"Never have I been in a studio situation where I wasn't waiting on the engineer for long stretches, until I worked with José," says bassist David Cobb. "He kept us on our toes with his remarkable ears, and kept the production in motion even when the rest of us needed a break."

But José didn't just wow us behind the console, he is a master of multiple instruments, which our listeners will get a fuller picture of when we release the Felices Dias album. Until then, listen to the raw power of José's sax tone in our single "Hey Yidaki." It is almost as if he is mimicking and channeling the didgeridoo with its throaty voice, rooted in the earth. We didn't just find a great engineer or guest musician, we found a fellow artist and true collaborator.

"What an amazing time we had working on this album.” Guitarist Silviu Ciulei reflects. “So much creativity, innovation, and pure talent poured into this project, and most of all lots of love. The audience will definitely be able to feel that as they're listening to it. As always the best part is getting together with my brothers and making music, the flow took us places and this album will take you there too. Flamenco reimagined.”

The truth is that we have all grown as artists and humans along this journey. This project has allowed us the freedom to go as far into the music as is possible, and to push ourselves beyond the boundaries of what we thought we could accomplish. It has brought us closer in a time when we are kept apart, and it looks to the rebirth of our society from the troubles we've prevailed. José has a succinct insight into this:

“To me this project is the synchrony of three out of many important life lessons that I have come to appreciate more: 1) the importance of concerning ourselves with exploring and understanding intercultural expressions that reinforce the importance of human connectivity and collectivity; 2) the imperativeness of brotherhood. This album is a celebration of our respective uniqueness and united mindset in our impetus to educate listeners about the possibilities of a more unified world; 3)The interdimensionality of music serving as a portal to uncovering the mysteries and wonders of our human existence. My experience in working with the Maharajah Flamenco Trio has opened my awareness and heart to these matters, and I hope that by listening to this album, you too will become more concerned with the celebration and preservation of humanity for better days (felices dias).”

We should all endeavor to delve into new worlds of human experience, and we hope that this album will be one way in which you explore new worlds. There are no limits.

Look for Felices Días in the coming weeks and learn more about José at

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