They call him the liberator of the flute, but Orlando "Maraca" Valle is much more than that. The man proved that flute could be a lead instrument in salsa, but he also has demonstrated undeniable chops as a composer, arranger and producer, working with a stellar cast of artists including the Bobby Carcasses Orchestra, Emiliano Salvador and finally the magnificent Irakere before striking out on his own. After producing (and composing with) the Cuban All-Stars on Pasaporte, he released his first solo album, the difficult-to-find Formula Uno in 1995. He went on to form Otra Vision, the band that has backed him on numerous efforts, including the star-studded Sonando! and Descargo Total. Born in Havana to an intensely musical family, Valle began studying flute at the age of 10. While his training encompassed jazz and classical music, Valle's strength lies in his ability to breathe salsa's ineffable swing into jazzy arrangements -- pleasing both sides of the jazz/salsa divide, which is no small feat.