Yesterday, a bunch of NY area musicians, mostly Steve Oquendo’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, got together to put on a performance for Dave Valentin and the residents of the rehabilitation center where is is currently being cared for and receiving treatment/therapy in efforts to nurse him back to health after his recent 2nd stroke and heart attack.
It saddens me to report that prior to yesterday (according to sources close to Dave), he seemed depressed and was not making any efforts to get better, i.e., he had pretty much given up on therapy. Yesterday however, he was definitely”into it”. Although he doesn’t communicate verbally at the moment, it was evident in his eyes as he watched everything and everyone, that he was enjoying the musical day.
On one occasion, while Connie Grossman was soloing and unaware that Steve had cued the band for the next session, Dave relayed the cue to Connie with his fingers (sitting in front and counting down the cue), as she didn’t see Steve’s cue us. He was watching every solo and clapping at the end of every tune. Yeah, he was into it.
Below are some photos and a video Nicky Marrero’s wife share with me. I hope others will share more videos of the performance over time. This is what I have for now.
The people responsible for making this happen were Richie Bonilla and Irene DeRonda. The musicians who participated were:
Nicky Marrero, Pete Nater , Connie Grossman Leviatin, Steve Oquendo, Julie Acosta, William Olenick Jason Gaines, Jerry Madera, Tonycastro Sonoratropical, Willie Martinez, Carl Corwin, Carlos Maldonado, Camilo Molina, Jorge Castro, Pete Bariman Miranda, James Jimmy Elmore, Hommy Ramos, Tokunori Kajiwara, Rey David Alejandre, Joseph QuiQue Gonzalez,
Please keep Dave in your prayers.
By Pete Nater