Tell us about you (who you are, what you do).
Well, where do I start? (laugh). I am loving son, brother, husband to be to my best friend since the age of 13 years old, and I love playing billiards. I am an individual who loves serving his community and using his gifts to enrich people’s quality of life. As for my role, I have chosen the path of a musician to achieve my purpose. I love kayaking, discussing philosophy, creating music, performing, playing basketball, eating ethnic foods, visiting theme parks, traveling to countries, learning about the world and how it functions, and laughing a lot.
My hard-work ethic has allowed me to reach certain goals and share those goals with my colleagues and students. Some of the goals include: Becoming a Latin GRAMMY nominee, obtaining two doctorate degrees (i.e., Ph.D. in Music Education and D.Min in Global Outreach and Music Ministry), receiving full endorsements with the most loving flute merchants, Miyazawa and Trevor James flutes, performing with my musical inspirations, producing multiple albums that have garnered an unprecedented 42 Downbeat Student Music Awards, teaching higher education at a university, traveling as a clinician all over the world, establishing music education programs for at-risk populaces in third world countries, and so forth.
In this current season of my life I am dreaming more and more, encouraging others to do the same, and pursuing my dreams with full-throttle passion and consistency.
Tell us about your current project (what inspired you, how did you get it off the ground, etc.).
What initially inspired me to pursue music was growing up in a rich musical/cultural environment. My parents jammed (and still jam today) at the house and played all kinds of musical genres (e.g. Classical, Salsa, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Rock, Country, Pop, Hip Hop, and so forth). I loved visiting Puerto Rico during the holidays. We have a tradition called Parrandas, which is like Christmas caroling, only it begins very late in the evening and we use percussive instruments to wake people up and sing lyrics that demand them to cook for us and party! It is one of the funnest activities to do as Puerto Ricans because everyone in the parranda is so relational with one another. It amazed me to see how neighbors and strangers join the parranda with singing, playing instruments, and dancing.
The strong sense of community that manifests through the power of music fascinates me every time.
Hence, I told my father during a parranda that I wanted to learn how to play an instrument, and in turn, he chose the flute for me and sought out the finest flute instructor to cultivate a strong foundation in the classical flute tradition, Dr. Kim McCormick. The rest is history!
What advice would you give to upcoming professionals? (especially someone in your focus area)
First, be relational with everyone. Relationships are the currency of the kingdom; it’s how the music industry functions. Be sure to stay in communication with people you meet and be genuine with everyone. Second, actively find the uniqueness of every individual you come across and learn from their uniqueness. I personally don’t believe in this “best in the world” mind-set. I am more attracted to the notion that everyone has something amazing to offer; as educators (that means everyone), we should strive to encourage that person’s uniqueness to blossom through words of affirmation, constructive criticism, and relationship.
Last, aim to be as multi-faceted as possible. Currently in the modern music industry, we are seeing more and more opportunities open up for musicians who can expertise in many areas – teaching, performing an array of styles, composing, marketing and event planning, and producing.
Often musicians get so caught up in concerning themselves with what other musicians think, however in most cases, non-music-oriented clients hire musicians on the basis of how much the musician could offer them for their financial compensation. So, learn about the industry as much as possible and stay relevant.
How do you keep motivated with your work, and how do you manage your time?
Well, time management is something I am currently refining as I get older – I’ve actually taken classes on time management and have begun to apply some of the principals. To best answer this question, I must mention the world legacy. “What do I want to impart in other students, family, friends, and fans?” That question serves as the impetus to my work ethic. My colleagues know I am very driven about the pursuit of my career and the outcomes of my colleagues’ careers. My motivation is un-ending as I’ve accepted the fact that my gift is not to serve me alone, rather, it is to serve others – my gift is used to uplift the human spirit, encourage other to accept and cultivate their God-given artistic identity, and inspire other to be the best versions of themselves. As an artist, I want to express that in many musical mediums of expression (e.g. performing, producing albums, educating, composing, and so forth). To do these things effectively, I schedule allotted time for each of these activities on a daily basis. My long term goals influence the completion of short term assignments/activities.
Also, I try to make sure I have as much fun as possible; this helps me to do my work effectively.
Anything exciting on the horizon?
I am thrilled to announce the legendary flutist and educator, Jim Walker, and I will be premiering the music of our new album, We Are One, at the National Flute Association at San Diego, CA in August 2016 (Thursday evening Gala concert and Saturday night Cabaret).
This album (4 years in the making) is the greatest, most satisfying artistic endeavor I have ever done. I have learned so much through this process. We are excited to publish the play-along along book containing the compositions so you can learn and experience some of the most exciting cross-cultural compositions – A musical celebration of 20+ cultures from around the world supplemented with the technical demand of Classical music, rhythmic prowess of Afro-Latin American drumming, improvisational spirit of Jazz music, tinges of Middle Eastern, Irish, and Chinese musical phrasings, and the enthusiasm of two generations colliding as one spirit!
If any aspiring performing artist has any questions about anything pertaining to my musical philosophy and/or music, I would encourage them to reach me via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/josevalentino) and http://www.josevalentino.com/.
I’d be happy to answer any questions, give advice, and help in anyway I can. Viva La Flauta Moderna!!!!