José Valentino

Performer | Professor | Producer

 Dr. José Valentino Ruiz - Professor of Music Business & Technology 

Dr. José Valentino Ruiz - Professor of Music Business & Technology 

About José - The Performer

Internationally acclaimed recording and performing artist, Dr. José Valentino Ruiz is a two-time Latin GRAMMY® nominated artist -producer - audio engineer; a participator in a Parents' Choice® GOLD Winner album; a 49-time DownBeat® Music Award recipient; co-producer for a Global Music Awards® - GOLD Winner album, renowned multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer; a caring higher education university professor of music business, jazz, and production & applied lesson instructor of commercial bass and flute; and, sought-after national clinician known for his passionate performances, versatility & fluid expression on the flute, saxophone, bass, piano, and latin percussion.

During his academic studies, José's albums, performances, ensemble leadership in higher education, improvisations and compositions, and engineering skills led to him becoming the record holder for the most International DownBeat Music Awards® --- 49 awards total between 2006 - 2018 for the following categories: Best Jazz Soloist - 7x, Best Classical Soloist - 2x, Best Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist - 8x, Best Engineered Studio Recording - 8x, Engineered Live Recording - 4x, Best Latin Group - 8x, Best Jazz Group - 4x, and Best Blues/Pop/Rock Group - 6x. Other awards include: Winner of the International Yamaha Young Performing Artist® Competition, Winner of the International COG Teen Talent Competition (Woodwind) - 3, and Winner of the National Flute Association Jazz Flute Competition. 

José has collaborated as a co-main artist, performer, sideman, and producer for albums with Grammy-winning® and internationally recognized artists/composers such as Chick Corea, Paquito D'Rivera, Hubert Laws (NEA Jazz Master), Candido Camero (NEA Jazz Master), Jim Walker, Phil Ramone, Jonathan Butler, Alex Acuña, Aaron Neville, Brian Lynch, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentin, Andy Montanez, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Dave Cleveland, and Abraham Laboriel, just to name a few. 

As a radiant performer, José has performed with his ensembles, José Valentino Band, José Valentino & Crossmatch Vamp, and Touch (iPad Band), at many prestigious venues: Carnegie Hall, DC Jazz Festival, The NAMM Show (Largest music convention in the world) - 5x, RCA Dome, Festival Miami, The Midwest Clinic International Band & Orchestra Conference, Orlando Convention Center, Tanglewood Music Center, Jazz Education Network Conference - 2x, COG International General Assembly - 5x, National Museum of Arts of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's Choliseo, Winterfest Youth Conference,  Tampa Jazz Festival, Low Country Jazz Festival, Cape Coral Jazz Festival- 2x, St. Armand's Jazz Festival - 6x, MAV's Summer Festival in the Bahamas, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Orlando Jazz Festival, Seabreeze Jazz Festival After PartyClearwater Jazz Holiday - 3x, Festival Miami - 2x, Busch Gardens Summer Nights Music Series, Seaworld's Viva La Musica, National Flute Association, Florida Music Educator's Association Conference, Texas Music Educator's Association Conference, National Association for Music Education Conference, Florida Technology and Education Conference, Popular Music Education Conference, TEDx Talk, FOX News, CBS, NBC, World News, CNN, ABC, ESPN, Univision, Telemundo, and CBS. Performances outside of the U.S.A. include: Canada, Greece, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Austria, France, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Bahamas, Liberia, Nicaragua, and so forth.

Performance Videos:

Below you can view some of José's performances in commercial and instrumental music contexts. He has performed over 4000+ concerts in the span of 16 years of professional musicianship.

GRAMMY® Nominated Producer-Composer-Audio Engineer

As a composer and film scorer, José's work has been featured in several films, shorts, and documentaries that have garnered 13 awards in various categories at the Gasparilla International Film Festival, Los Angeles Shorts Festival, Chelsea Film Festival -3x, Newport Film Festival, Bahamas International Film Festival, Champs Elysees Film Festival, and Best Short Competition. José also works extensively as a music supervisor, composer, and music producer for Hayden5Media LLC., a company that has produced nationally-publicized commercials - Swiffer, Coca Cola, Converse, Truth, Pasties, Doritos, Slim Fast, and so forth.

José's 10 recordings as a leader represent not only his growth as a musician, but also his ability to constantly evolve and reinvent himself as a conceptualist and producer. The genres of his albums range from Pop, Jazz, Contemporary Instrumental, World Music, Latin Jazz, Contemporary Christian Music, Funk Fusion, & Singer-Songwriter. A detailed description of each album is located on the 'discography' tab. 


Received Nomination Medal 

Latin Grammy Awards

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Albums . . .

Below are a list of José's albums where he has served many roles including artist, producer, audio engineer, participating musician, co-visual artist for the album covers. 

Online Stores

José's albums are available for purchase and listening at these digital distribution stores and live streaming services!

Albums as Artist:

  • "I Make You Want To Move" (2015) - José Valentino & The Latin Jazz Ensemble
  • "A Traveler's Journey" (2015) - José Valentino & Jesse Pitts
  • "Remembering" (2016) - José Valentino & Jesse Pitts
  • "Expression: The Jazz Piano Album" (2016) - José Valentino
  • "We Are One: An Exploration of Latin American Music" (2016) - Jim Walker & José Valentino
  • "Soul Speaks: A Lyrically Soloistic Bass Project" (2016) - José Valentino
  • "Revelación del Viento" (2016) - Zohet w/ Feliche del Valle, Giovanni Pérez, & José Valentino
  • "His Presence" (2017) - Bruno Miranda & José Valentino
  • "Chapter II" (2017) - Bruno Miranda, José Valentino, & Jesse Pitts 
  •  "Ahora Más Que Nunca" (2017) - José Valentino
  • "A New Standard" (2018) - José Valentino & Shawn Perkinson (feat. Japheth Varklack, Robert Acevedo Jr., Hannah Price, and Tim Ferguson)

Albums as Producer & Audio Engineer:

  • "Mosaico" (2016) - Bruno Miranda
  • "The Other Side of Love Songs" (2017) - Gualo
  • "My Heart" (2017) - Jay Newsmen
  • "Song Of The Whale" (2017) - Viviana Guzman
  • "Travesía" (2017) - Alexey Marti

Albums as Sideman:

  • "Miami Untitled" (2013) - Alfredo Triff
  • "Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet" (2015) - Alfredo Triff
  • "Mundo Verde/Green World" (2017) - Mister G

In 2015, the 16th Annual Latin GRAMMY® awards nominated José's album, José Valentino & The Latin Jazz Ensemble "I Make You Want To Move" for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. Initially, this album began as a music education project to help students gain a deeper understanding of music production and technology, music industry, world musics, the performing arts, and endorsements. Fueled by a student-centered learning philosophy and a professional production opportunity, José's students realized their dreams and became relevantly equipped for the music industry post-graduation. Today, those students are competent in these subjects, have obtained numerous endorsements and awards, have released solo albums, and have established thriving careers in performance and production. 


Grammy Red Carpet

Nominee for Best Jazz Album of The Year 2015

One year later, José returns as a contestant for the biggest night in Latin music's prestigious competition, the 17th Annual Latin GRAMMY® awards --- only this time to be honored as a nominee for master engineering, co-composing, and participating as a multi-instrumentalist for renowned pianist Bruno Miranda's album, "Mosaico." This album is deemed top 5 in the world for Best Instrumental Album of the Year. The feelings and sounds of joy, friendship, and brotherly love are apparent in each song from the album, which is representative of the professional working dynamic of José production team - the same team of musicians, producers, composers, and engineers who were involved in the previous year's nomination. 


Grammy Red Carpet

Nominee for Best Instrumental Album of The Year 2016

What is special about José's career and why should I consider him for producing my next album? "José's phenomenal trajectory of producing state-of-the-art, innovative, industry standard productions (whether playing the roles of artist, audio engineer, composer, producer, and/or studio musician) is evidence of his passion, dedication, collaborative spirit, patience, musical intuition, and love for working with clients to help them fulfill their dreams in becoming an actively-working professional in the music industry; this is why he is a music business professor at an outstanding university - he is a teacher at heart.  Hence, José is always open for discussing the possibility of collaborating and record-producing other artists, regardless if they are veterans in the music industry or aspiring performing artists. If I were you, I would strongly consider hiring José to (1) produce your next album and (2) provide consultations for launching your career in this rapidly vacillating music industry. This is what he teaches at Lee University! He teaches the business and does it successfully as well." - Jesse Tillman Pitts, Award winning drummer & composer
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Educator & Minister

As of April 2016, José accepted the tenured-track faculty position at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee as Assistant Professor of Music Business & Music Production and Applied Instructor of Electric Bass. For students who are interested in (1) become efficiently equipped for the evolving modern music industry; (2) expanding their multi-faceting skills through an innovative curriculum that equips them to be thriving 21st Century Musicians - a 'renaissance' musician - one who is a performer-composer-producer-entrepreneurs; (3) gaining opportunities to collaborate with other professionals, and; (4) starting their careers as they pursue an academic degree, strongly consider Lee University's School of Music - Music Business program. 

Dr. Ruiz has taught in two institutions (University of South Florida in Tampa, Fl and Lee University in Cleveland, TN) 21 undergraduate and graduate courses & subjects pertaining to: 

Professor (Taught the 10 courses)

  • Introduction to Music Business (Undergraduate level - Lee University)
  • Seminar in Entrepreneurship (Undergraduate level - Lee University)
  • Music Technology (i.e., sound design, audio engineering, film scoring; digital audio workstations such as ProTools, Logic Pro X, & Garageband & Notation Software such as Finale, Sibaleus) (Undergraduate level - Lee University)
  • Applied Electric Bass (i.e., improvisation, commercial music, jazz, funk-fusion, world musics, & gospel) (Lee University)
  • Applied Commercial Flute (i.e., improvisation, commercial music, jazz, Latin jazz, world music) (Lee University)
  • Music and Culture (Lee University)
  • Small Jazz Ensemble (undergraduate level - Lee University)
  • Advisor for B.S. in Music Business majors' Senior Projects (EPs, Albums, Quantitative & Qualitative Research projects in Music Entrepreneurship and Music Industry) (Lee University)
  • Special Topics: Music Production - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Undergraduate level - Lee University)
  • Committee Member for Master's level theses in Music Education (Graduate level - Lee University)
    • Additional Responsibilities:
      • Developing the recording studio for the school of music
      • Developing the new B.M. in Music Industry (Production) degree program
      • Instrumental Audition Committee
      • Perform in Chapel and Special Events
      • Missions Committee

Instructor of Record (Developed curriculum for and taught the 6 courses)

  • Film Scoring for K-12 - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Innovative Musicianship - Developed and taught the course - (Undergraduate and Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Ethnodoxological Improvisation, Composition, and Production - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Musical Worship Album Project - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Latin American Music Ensemble - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Undergraduate & Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Implementing Creativity in Worship: Directed Graduate Research - Developed curriculum and taught the course - (Graduate level - University of South Florida)

Instructor of Record (Taught the 4 courses)

  • Progressive Methods in Music Education (Undergraduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Creative Performance Chamber Ensemble (Undergraduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Sabbatical Replacement for Applied Flute Lessons (Undergraduate and Graduate level - University of South Florida)
  • Advisor for Master's level thesis for a M.M. in Flute Performance Major (Graduate level - University of South Florida)

Teaching Assistant (Co-taught the online course)

  • Music for Your Life (Undergraduate level - University of South Florida)

His 15 years of professional experience in the music industry and passion for education has been expressed as a higher educator (Instructor of Record at USF School of Music 2013-2016), a music educator for special needs students (The Pepin Academies 2015-2016), a music production teacher for at-risk students (C. Leon King High School 2016), and as an international touring clinician for eight music manufacturers. With a compassionate heart towards students, José attracts musicians of different demographic backgrounds and musical levels to his masterclasses. His lessons are described as highly interactive, humorous, and Christ-centered. Notable topics include: (1) Cultivating artistic identity, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation; (2) Effective strategies for becoming competent improvisors and composers; (3) Proficiency in music production, film scoring pedagogy, and music business. 

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Touch is the University of South Florida's iPad Quintet. The group, made up of music education faculty and PhD students from the School of Music, formed shortly after the release of the first iPad. Touch is a live performance ensemble that plays a wide variety of music from across musical styles including rock, rap and classical, as well as original music composed specifically for the ensemble. A Touch concert is a multimedia experience of sound, light, and motion where the audience plays an important role, and where anything is possible!


José has extended his educational and ministerial reach as a leader of a numerous mission trips focused on developing music programs for at-risk population groups in third world countries, teaching theology & ethnodoxology, and construction. The countries visited included Liberia (Africa), Guatemala - 3x, Nicaragua - 4x, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and U.S.A. Today those programs are thriving after-school music programs that provide adolescents and youth within their communities with an alternative to drugs and gangs. 

Mission trip to Liberia, Africa

The Power of Music as Ministry

Here is a picture of José playing his flute for a child in Liberia, Africa. The little boy followed the sound to where he met José and for a moment, time stood still, instant connection, eyes locked, and communication happened through the power of music. Matthew 19:14 "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." #Liberia #Africa #Missions #LeeUniversity 

Academically, José holds the following degrees:

Bachelor of Arts in Musical Studies (B.A.), concentration in Music Theory from University of South Florida.

Master of Music in Instrumental Performance (M.M.), concentrations in Classical Performance and Studio Music/Jazz from University of Miami.

Doctor of Philosophy in Music (Ph.D.), concentration in Music Education from University of South Florida.

Doctor of Ministry in Global Outreach (D.Min.), with a concentration in Ethnodoxology from Truth and Mercy Institute for Advanced Ministry Studies - Online.


José proudly endorses the following companies listed below. Their support has allowed José to expand his reach as a performer, producer, and educator to inspire audiences to pursue their dream and to impact music listeners around the world. 

  • Trevor James Flutes & Saxophones
  • Bari Mouthpieces & Reeds
  • Wyn Fretless Bass Guitars 
  • Tune Bass Guitars
  • Black Diamond Strings
  • Super Sensitive Strings
  • Gold Tone Musical Instruments
  • Lefreque Sound bridges
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World-renowned Flute Artist & Composer

José has headlined multiple times at the National Flute Association Convention and is regarded as one of the top flutists of his generation, as he leads the way of commercial flute performance. His mastery of jazz, Latin music, world music, hip hop, and pop on the flute is studied and admired by flute enthusiasts around the world. He has many crossover albums which have garnered numerous awards for jazz performance, compositions, Latin music performance, and commercial music performance; two play-along books and a world-music album ["We Are One: An Exploration of Latin American Music"] with the legendary Jim Walker; and, videos that have reached millions of views on social media platforms. José proudly endorses Trevor James Flutes where he serves as International Flute Artist-Clinician and Media Ambassador for the company. 

 "Ahora Más Que Nunca (featuring Benny Maldonado, Robert Acevedo, Jim Walker, and Jesse Pitts)

"Ahora Más Que Nunca (featuring Benny Maldonado, Robert Acevedo, Jim Walker, and Jesse Pitts)

Award-Winning Bassist Extraordinaire

José has won an impressive 42 DownBeat Student Music Awards, many of which were won as a jazz soloist and blues-pop-rock soloist on the bass guitar. He has been been a featured artist for 'For Bass Players Only" and 'Bass Musician Magazine' and currently serves as the electric bass professor at Lee University. José has recorded the bass for all his albums and has one album, "Soul Speaks", which is completely focused on solo bass compositions. José has studied under Abraham Laboriel (the most recorded bassist of all time) and has had a couple private lessons with Victor Wooten and John Patitucci. José is regarded as one of the most propelling bass artist-educators of his generation. His basses of choice are a Yamaha 4-string bass guitar, a Wyn fretless bass guitar, and the Kiki Upright Baby Bass designed by his father. José is an endorsed artist for Black Diamond Strings and Super Sensitive Strings.

 Soul Speaks: A Lyrically Soloistic Bass Project

Soul Speaks: A Lyrically Soloistic Bass Project

Fiercely Expressive Saxophonist

Whether it's straight-ahead jazz, contemporary instrumental, soul & R&B, fusion, or Latin music, José has a way of captivating audiences of all demographics with his mesmerizing saxophone sound that is akin to the human voice. José can be seen performing his saxophone in all his concerts; his saxophone has allowed him to perform and visit a plethora of jazz and smooth jazz festivals around the world. Most of the saxophone solos in José's albums are recorded by him. José proudly endorses Trevor James Saxophones and Bari Mouthpieces & Reeds.

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