“Without music, life would be a mistake”” - Friedrich Nietzsche


Yanko Valdes was born in 1976 in Mendoza, Argentina and raised in Santiago de Chile. He began playing guitar and studying martial arts at the age of seven and gets an electric bass at twelve years old, once he arrives to the United States; By 14 years old, he starts playing keyboards and picks up the double bass right before his 16th birthday (in 1986, his mother wins a poetry prize and moves to Williamsburg, Brooklyn). In the subways of NYC, he ran into the Chilean composer Hugo Moraga and began his first formal musical studies. His first double bass lessons were with Kiyoto Fujiwara (MG4, Horace Silver, Thomas Chapin). He is a former recipient of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Scholarship, granted by Manny Albam and Jim McNelly. He has performed with artists as diverse as Dina Fanai (TRS Orchestra), Dave Eggar (Flux Quartet), Elayne Joyce-Simon (wife of Neil Simon), Los Tetas (Chile), Ramon Aguilera, Willy Crook (Argentina, Patricio Rey y Sus Redonditos de Ricota), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Cecilia Alessandra (Peru), Medicine Stick (Muzz Skillings, Living Colour), William Luna (Peru), Attack Theater, Edible Red, Agua Clara, Life on Mars, Four on the Floor (Meet The Artist program at Lincoln Center) and Albert Cummings. In 2000, he received a scholarship from Hunter College to study with Professor John A. Schaffer, retired principal bassist from the New York Philharmonic.

As a composer, he studied with Maria Schneider, Carlos Franzetti and Hugo Moraga. He has put out two solo albums, along doing numerous arrangements for all types of ensembles. The new album “Discordia” will be coming out this year.  As an educator, he is a former member of the Department of Education of NYC and The American Institute of Guitar.  





E-mail: Yankontrabass@gmail.com

Cell: 646-642-1911

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