Founded Valdes Music Productions and created Latin Jazztet, Mambo Allstars, Jazz Facets, and The International VMP Orchestra.
He took weekly piano lessons from a nun at a local parochial school, but his parents did not have a piano, so he would use a table to practice his fingerings.
He was a fan of such bands as Sly and the Family Stone, Grand Funk Railroad, and The Brecker Brothers, while he was in high school.
His father, also named Jose, was a fan of jazz, bebop, and Mexican music, while his mother Elena was a fan of classical music, especially the waltzes of
His primary exposure to music as a child came from watching the TV shows of Steve Allen, Jimmy Durante, and Lawrence Welk.