8 Time Grammy award winning composer-arranger Vince Mendoza has been at the forefront of the jazz and contemporary music scene as a composer, conductor and recording artist for the last 30 years. He has written scores of compositions and arrangements for big band, chamber and symphonic settings while his jazz composing credits read like a “who's who” of the best modern instrumentalists and singers in the world today.
Mendoza's arranging has appeared on many critically acclaimed projects that include dozens of albums with song writing legends and vocalists such as Björk, Gregory Porter, Chaka Khan, Elvis Costello, Alejandro Sanz, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Sting and Joni Mitchell. He has 8 Grammy awards and 38 nominations.
Mendoza’s 2021 recording “Freedom Over Everything” (BMG Modern Recordings) features Master Emcee Black Thought and soprano Julia Bullock while weaving his individual approach to jazz rhythms and instrumental colors through a grand symphonic tapestry. His new 2023 recording “Olympians” offers fresh, masterful readings of his compositions for the Metropole Orkest, featuring the orchestra with Dianne Reeves and Cécile McLorin Salvant. "Olympians" has been Grammy nominated for "Best Large Ensemble".
Mendoza is the composer in residence with the West Deutsche Rundfunk in Koln and the Conductor Laureate of the Netherlands Metropole Orkest, of which he was Chief Conductor for 9 seasons. In addition, he appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic, as well as other orchestras throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, and the U.K. He is the Artist in Residence with the Bohüslan Big Band in Gothenberg Sweden, and Professor of Jazz Composition at the Thorton School of Music/USC in Los Angeles.
Mendoza has also written commissioned compositions and arrangements for the Turtle Island String Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Berlin Philharmonic, Metropole Orkest, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC. He has performed at the Monterey, Montreux, Berlin and North Sea Jazz Festivals.
“Mendoza daringly expands the vernacular…to position him as the clear and natural successor to the late Gil Evans.” (All About Jazz) “… lyrical, sophisticated and witty.” (Entertainment Weekly) “Vince Mendoza is a “musician’s musician”… managing to interpret the best of his predecessors’ styles, adding undeniable twists and proprietary genius …” (Jazziz) …”breathtakingly beautiful music of the first order” (Amazon.com) “Vince’s strikingly original compositions are heralded by musicians and critics alike as innovative,hip and seductively lyrical.” (Downbeat) “Writer arranger Vince Mendoza is a master of contemporary idioms…” (Jazz Times) “… one of the most promising young jazz figures sans instrument.” (Downbeat) “His music is subtle, complex and full of harmonic mysteries.” (Tom Schnabel, KCRW)