Dave Valentin became one of the pre-eminent flutists in Latin jazz. He was known for his creative combination of fusion, pop and R&B.
He won a Grammy in 2003 for best Latin jazz album for "The Gathering," by the Caribbean Jazz Project. Vibraphonist Dave Samuels was also featured on that record.
Manager Richie Bonilla told news agencies that Valentin, 64, who had suffered multiple strokes over the last several years, died Wednesday from stroke complications and Parkinson's disease.
When he was five years old, Valentin started playing bongos and congas. His father, who was in the Merchant Marine, had brought them home from Brazil.
Valentin took piano lessons at 9 and was playing percussion for paying gigs when he was 10.