RIP, China Valles.
For those of us who love jazz, China Valles was a teacher, a late-night companion, a voice that connected us to a music, a time and the many places from which it came.
Along with hip-hop, jazz is the only music originally created in this country. It has always spoken to me and influenced what I do artistically. Many of the artists I have grown to love in jazz were first heard on China's amazing radio program.
For decades, China Valles was THE voice of late night in South Florida. Whether it was the music he played or the things he said (and how he said them), "China's Jazz Thing" was the soundtrack to the overnights of my misbegotten and scandalous youth.
Duke Ellington nicknamed him the “The Maharajah, Purveyor of Swirls.” DUKE. FUCKING. ELLINGTON.
RIP, China. May the jams go on forever...