Formed in 1995 by Jessica Valiente, Anna Milat-Meyer and Yasuyo Kimura, the group brings together some of today’s finest Latin musicians. Collectively, the band’s resume reads like a who’s-who of New York’s jazz and Latin music scene. Its members have played with Chico O’Farrill, Louis Bauzó, Charlie Persip, Max Roach, Orlando Marín, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Kit McClure Band, Jimmy Bosch, Grammy-nominated Juan Carlos Formell, and the list goes on. Taking its name from its leader, Brooklyn-born flutist Jessica Valiente, Los Más Valientes plays original Latin jazz compositions, innovative arrangements of Latin jazz standards, and Latin dance music in the classic tradition of the Cachao descargas, Fania All-Stars, Alegre All-stars, and all the legendary charanga bands.
The band’s debut self-titled CD (Laughing Buddha, 1999) received wide critical acclaim. Cadence Magazine called it, “a tightly knit band of Latin music professionals...plays the music of Latin America with dedication and a true understanding of its pulse.” Jazz Now hailed it as “a tight and engaging ensemble... not a weak spot on the album.” The celebrated Latin music historian and columnist, Max Salazar, listed it as one of the 10 best albums of 1999 (Latin Beat Magazine, December 1999). Their sophomore effort, Gira Caribeña/Caribbean Journey, has received even greater praise: Latin Beat Magazine says, “The production swings, with commendable arrangements…” and Latin Style Magazine raves, “I wish this recording could go on and on, and you will too!” Their 2005 release, Titere Fué, topped Latin jazz charts all over the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Europe in 2005 and 2006.
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