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David Valdez

Born 1976 in San Francisco, David grew up in Santa Cruz, California. David picked up the saxophone at the age of 8 years old. He attended Berklee College of music on full scholarship, where he studied with George Garzone and saxophone guru Joseph Viola (who also taught Michael Brecker, Brandford Marsalis and Charlie Mariano). While in Boston he worked with John Medeski, the Either Orchestra, Dave Holland, Clark Terry, Dominique Eade, Mick Goodrick, Danilo Perez, Bob Moses, The Four Tops, Ken Schaphorst, Jim Black, Matt Wilson. After finishing his studies David moved back to the West Coast, where for several years he led bands in the Bay Area featuring such notable players as Larry Grenadier, Eddie Marshal, Jeff Ballard, Kenny Brooks, Kenny Wollesen, Larry Scheider, Dred Scott, Charlie Hunter, Vince Wallace, Liberty Ellman, Dmitri Metheny, Mark Levine and Scott Amendola.

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”David Valdez has shown himself to be a rigorously adaptable player and a jazz gent who can make things happen. With his broad shouldered alto tone he builds his solos architecturally like very few players.' Bill Smith, Willamette Week

“Alto saxophonist David “Carlos” Valdez is a full-throttle player with a rich knowledge of both bebop and latin jazz. You can hear in the warmth of his tone and the urgency of his wail, time-well spent in the jazz salt mines of NYC, the Bay Area, and beyond.” Tim DuRoche- Strong Week

“Alto saxophonist David Valdez is one of the blazing lights of PDX's vastly underrated Latin music scene

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Primary Instrument



portland, OR

Willing to teach

Advanced students only.


Over 20 years teaching experience. Taught Jazz harmony at California State University at Humboldt. Noted Jazz improvisation author.


Tumi Music
  • Armonica
    Pere Soto & David Valdez


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