Sunday Night Jazz Showcase
Program #297 (September 20 at 8:00 p.m.)
A native of the South Bronx, Ray Vega is a veteran of the bands of Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauza, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Hector LaVoe, Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez and Louie Ramirez to name a few.
Ray has performed and/or recorded with Joe Henderson, Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Steve Turre, Pete Escovedo, Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Diane Schuur, Michel Camilo, Kirk Franklin, The Bob Belden Big Band, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jeanie Bryson, Eddie Palmieri, The Mingus Big Band, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Bebo Valdez, and Celia Cruz, among numerous others.
Ray has now established himself as one of the innovators of the international Jazz and Latin music scenes. A multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer, and arranger, he presents Jazz from a refreshingly original and contemporary perspective.
His two recordings on the Concord Picante label, his self-titled debut "Ray Vega", and "Boperation", along with his 1st release on the Palmetto label "Pa'lante"have been well received by critics, audiences and musicians alike.
Vega grew up immersed in the heart of two vibrant New York City music scenes: Jazz and Salsa. In addition to learning about these two musical styles with some of the great legends, he received his formal training studying trumpet with Sydney Baker, Henry Nowak, Mike Lawrence, Stan Shafran, Laurie Frink, Richard Brezowski and Jerry Gonzalez.
He studied Jazz harmony and improvisation with Susan Winder, Bobby Rogovin and Lonnie Hillyer. Vega studied Afro-Caribbean percussion with Luis Bauzo. Vega attended The Long Island University Brooklyn Center and is a graduate of the legendary High School of Music and Art.
Vega is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Vermont. Along with coaching 4 jazz combos, he teaches trumpet and Jazz history. In 2015 the University of Vermont honored him with the distinguished title of University Scholar for 2015-2016. He was the first creative in the history of the university to receive this high honor. As an educator, Ray Vega has been invited to conduct master classes in trumpet performance, jazz improvisation, brass performance techniques and afro-caribbean jazz.
(provided by Ray Vega)