This week, we've got some video clips featuring trumpet player Ray Vega, who will be in St. Louis next week to play Wednesday, February 16 through Saturday, February 19 at Jazz at the Bistro.
Vega grew up in the South Bronx, and has an extensive resume as a gigging musician in NYC playing both salsa and jazz. He's worked with top Latin performers including Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauza and many others, as well with more jazz-oriented big bands including Lionel Hampton, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Chico O’Farrill's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
He made his solo debut in 1996 with a self-titled album for the Concord label, and since has released four more CDs as a leader. Vega's most recent recording is East-West Trumpet Summit, a collaboration with Seattle trumpeter Thomas Marriott that came out last summer on Origin Records. He also recently has worked with the composer Osvaldo Golijov, performing first and solo trumpet in his critically acclaimed orchestral piece "La Pasion Segun San Marco".
In addition to performing and recording, Vega is a senior lecturer at the University of Vermont, where he coaches jazz combos and teaches trumpet and jazz history. His band for the gig at the Bistro will feature pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassist Andy Eulau, percussionist Chembo Corniel and drummer Diego Lopez.
Today's first clip is from 2008, and shows Vega in a performance at the Black Note Jazz Club in Adelaide, South Australia. Down below are two performances from the Bern Jazz Festival, each split into two parts due to YouTube's restrictions. Last but not least, we see Vega with some of his university students, playing at a club in Burlington, VT. Check them out for a taste of Vega's Latin-jazz-meets-hard-bop style.