Home » Musicians » Ray Vega

Ray Vega

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, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, The Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, The Lincoln Center Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Paul Simon, Yomo Toro, Eddie Palmieri, La Orquesta Sinfonica De Simon Bolivar, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Bebo Valdez, and Celia Cruz.

Ray has now established himself as one of the innovators of the New York 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 onthe 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's 2nd Palmetto CD “Squeeze, Squeeze” has also received critical acclaim including Four Stars in Down Beat Magazine.

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. Ray Vega is a graduate of the legendary High School of Music and Art.

Read more

Tags

Album Review
Live Review
Album Review
Read more articles
Nice group, nice groove, and really good trumpet playing. Here's one of the wings of New York Latin jazz, firmly in the modernist jazz tradition. Vega, a trumpeter, plays a tune each by Wayne Shorter and by McCoy Tyner, and his own compositions. It could almost be a session on Blue Note from 1961, and that's praise. The sextet takes off over a percussion base of Wilson “Chembo” Corniel on percussion and Adam Weber on drums; the soloists, including Bobby Porcelli on alto saxophone and Igor Atalita on piano, sound more than comfortable. Recommended.”

Peter Watrous - Descarga.com

“The mantle of Jazz Messengers-tinged Latin jazz has been at least partly assumed by trumpeter”percussionist Ray Vega’s sextet, with Squeeze, Squeeze a prime example of exciting, creative improvising and danceable polyrhythms that are seemingly inexhaustible.”

Will Smith - Down Beat Magazine

“Vega's own style of trumpet imparts the best in his forerather's traits: the crisp, intelligent delivery of Freddie Hubbard, the passionate fortitude of Kenny Dorham, the clean precision of Woody Shaw, and the romantic depth of Chet Baker and Art Farmer.”

- allaboutjazz.com

“...The trumpeter's instrumental artistry lies in consisency, well-connected phrases, command of all registers and good taste.”

Owen Cordle

“...Vega is a hornman with deep roots in Latin music and Afro-Cuban Jazz.”

- The New York Daily News

“Whether on trumpet of flugelhorn

Read more

Primary Instrument

Trumpet

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Ray is currently a lecturer at the music conservatory at SUNY Purchase. Along with conducting The Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra and The Purchase Jazz Lab Band, Ray coaches a small Jazz combo, teaches jazz trumpet and Jazz history. At Purchase, Vega joins a stellar faculty that includes Jon Faddis, Hal Galper, John Abercrombie, Charles Blenzig, Todd Coolman, Graham Ashton, Randy Johnston, Javon Jackson, Dena Derose, Richie Morales, Doug Munro, John Riley, Jim Pugh, John Clark and Jim Rotondi

Read more

Photos

Albums

East-West Trumpet...

Origin Records
2010

buy

Squeeze Squeeze

Palmetto Records
2004

buy

Boperation

Concord Music Group
2000

buy

Boperation

Concord Music Group
1999

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop Amazon

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.