Bobby Valentin – Puerto Rican Musical Talent
Born on June 9, 1941, in Orocovis, Puerto Rico, Roberto “Bobby” Valentin showed an interest in music at a young age. His father taught him to play the guitar and as the guitarist and singer in a musical trio he won his first prize in a local talent contest at the age of eleven. By then his mother had passed away and Valentin was living with his older sister in the Puerto Rican town of Coamo where he completed his primary education.
All this time the trumpet had been Valentin’s musical instrument of choice, but in 1969 while playing in Puerto Rico, the bass player in the band didn’t arrive for a performance. Finding someone else to play the trumpet for the performance, Bobby Valentin played the bass. This was a turning point in his career, with the bass guitar becoming his favorite instrument and his road to even greater recognition for his musical talent. He has accompanied various musicians on his base guitar, including Raphy Leavitt and Willie Rosario, and has also been involved in album production and musical arrangements.
In 1975, Bobby Valentin broke away from Fania Records and founded Bronco Records. It was with Valentin’s band that Puerto Rican salsa singer Marvin Santiago recorded Soy Boricua, which has become a patriotic song for many Puerto Ricans. Moreover, Puerto Rican salsa singer Cano Estremera made his debut. Other notable artists Bobby Valentin has worked with include Ismael Miranda, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, Celia Cruz and Cheo Feliciano. Bobby Valentin continues to perform and record, with his latest disc Evolución being released in 2008.