The Sunshine Jazz Organization - CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF JAZZ SERVICES!
ABOUT US

China Valles, 
President Emeritus

Nicknamed by Duke Ellington himself, "The Mahj" (short for Maharajah, Purveyor of Swirls) the veteran Jazz DJ and one of America's leading authorities on Jazz, chuckles "Music is my love; it's my life."  Charles "China" Valles began his musical career as road manager for saxophonist "Illinois" Jacquet in the Fifties and has met and interviewed musical giants such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Valles arrived in South Florida in 1962 to head an upstart Jazz radio station, 
and eventually graced the airwaves including  WBUS,  WTMI and WDNA continuously until not too many years ago. With his delightfully gruff voice, full of whimsy and charm, Valles is a well-worn local treasure.

China has a treasure trove of stories from his "been there" Jazz history book, like the following on the passing of Symphony Sid Torin:   "Sid was like a grandfather of Jazz radio,"  said China Valles, host of WTMI's all-night jazz show.   "He was my idol, my hero.  His  show  is  what  inspired  me  to  be  a  jazz disc jockey." Valles, who first heard Symphony Sid in the late forties, said he copied Torin's relaxed, cool style.  And Valles tried to return the favor in 1974,  when  he  gave  Torin  the  weekend nights disc jockey job at Miami's WBUS,  an all-jazz station.

"I'd go pick him up at midnight after his show and I'd take him over to The Forge or somewhere, and we'd sit and drink all night while he told me stories about Charlie Parker and all the greats," Valles said.








































































































Hours:
JAZZ IS OPEN 24/7

MEMORABLE EVENTS

SJO 25th ANNIVERSARY

















SJO 27th ANNIVERSARY

SJO 29th ANNIVERSARY






















SOUTH FLORIDA JAZZ HALL OF FAME
2016


























































































2015






























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2010

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