The Sad Story Of Dave Valentin

This appeared in the NY Times about two weeks ago:

Now, he is mostly alone in his home. A stroke during a gig in March 2012 left him paralyzed on his right side, unable to walk, talk or lift his playing hand. Though he has recovered about 85 percent of his abilities, several fingers on his right hand are numb, and he cannot hold up his flute for long. Instead, he spends his days in a rented bungalow in Harding Park, a warren of twisty streets along the East River in the Bronx.

The sad truth is that we aren’t immortal. Playing music as a career is totally rewarding, but there is no safety net. No pension. No retirement package built in. Unless you, the artist, put those safety nets in. It’s easy when you have “a real job” because a lot of this stuff is taken from your paychecks before you get the final amount.

I’m not blaming Dave. I’m totally guilty of this too. If I had some life altering thing happen, like a stroke, I’d be in a way worse boat than him. I don’t have the accolades he has. And Dave is only 61, hardly retirement age for a top notch musician nowadays.

So, what can one take away from this? Plan ahead. Get some sort of retirement or savings happening now. When you get that $100 gig, put 10% or more of it away into some sort of account that you can’t readily access. Having SOMETHING to fall back upon is better than having absolutely nothing at all.

And best wishes to Dave. Still one of my favorite flute players.

Anchorman and Jazz Flute: Katisse Buckingham is Ron Burgundy


Katisse Buckingham is a woodwind multi-instrumentalist who has truly crafted his own sound. Fusing Jazz, Hip-Hop, World Music and Pop, his talent and unique style have brought music royalty to his door – Katisse has performed with Prince, Lionel Richie, Dr. Dre, Herbie Hancock, Andy Summers, and Vanessa Paradis among many others.

Unknown to many, Katisse was also the man behind the now infamous “Jazz Flute” scene in the Will Ferrell film, Anchorman. We were lucky enough to catch up with Katisse while on tour with The Zawinul Legacy Band in Vienna…

Good interview. If you like that sorta flute playing, check out one of my FAVORITE flute solos ever, Tom Scott playing flute on Threshold from Patrick Williams Threshold Album.

‘Saxophone Lung’

From an article in the Huffington Post:

A case study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows that it’s possible to develop allergic pulmonary disease, known as “Saxophone Lung,” in response to the mold that collects over time in woodwind instruments. Saxophone Lung is really a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is the inflammation of the lung tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic.

So, clean your horns out every now and then guys!, all things jazz and flute!