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Donald Vega

Donald Vega was trained classically in piano in his native Nicaragua. He emigrated to the United States at age 14 and found a musical home with the Colburn School of Performing Arts (CSPA). He began his studies there in classical piano with Teresa de Jong Pombo and Dr. Louis Lepley. Vega began learning the language of jazz from mentor Billy Higgins at The World Stage and continued at CSPA with Jeffrey Lavner, then later with bassist John Clayton at the University of Southern California. He went on to graduate from Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School where he studied with piano great Kenny Barron. Vega currently performs internationally as the pianist for world renowned bassist Ron Carter’s Golden Striker Trio with whom he has recorded several albums. Mr. Vega is also a professor at The Juilliard School and Hofstra University and sits on the board of BackCountry Jazz, a non-profit organization which provides music education programs and performances to underprivileged youth. 


News: Recording

Saxophonist Kirk Edwards Release 'SHOUT' Features Donald Vega

Saxophonist Kirk Edwards Release 'SHOUT' Features Donald Vega

For the past eight years Kirk Edwards has studied jazz improvisation with the celebrated pianist Donald Vega. As an organic outgrowth of this association Kirk often shared original compositions with Donald. Mr. Vega would offer suggestions to enhance these songs and Kirk would implement those elements into the pieces. As the original compositions became more refined ...



Label: Self Produced
Released: 2023
Track listing: My Walk; It's Just Me; Badalona; You're The One; Strictly Business; Full Impact; Doubleheader; Vaya Con Dios!; Always On Time; Hope In A Time Of Despair; Spinning And Winning; Shout!.


As I Travel

Label: Imagery Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: i Baila! Dance Like No One's Watching; As I Travel; I Know You Can Fly; Tomorrows; Alegria; Disturbios; Isabel-The Enchanting Nature of You; Dear Mayra; Beautiful Ladies.


Baila! Dance Like No One’s Watching

Label: Imagery Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Baila! Dance Like No One’s Watching


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Round About Midnight

Read "Round About Midnight" reviewed by Michael Ambrosino


Article: Album Review

Donald Vega: As I Travel

Read "As I Travel" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Pianist Donald Vega's latest album As I Travel is a captivating musical memoir in which, through an intricate blend of melodies and harmonies, he weaves a heartfelt narrative which pays homage to the familial and communal influences that have shaped his artistic journey. Accompanying him on this excursion are drummer Lewis Nash, bassist John Patitucci and ...


News: Music Industry

Pianist Donald Vega Releases New Single: ¡Baila! Dance Like No One’s Watching

Pianist Donald Vega Releases New Single: ¡Baila! Dance Like No One’s Watching

The new single, “¡Baila! Dance Like No One’s Watching," was released on Friday, September 29, 2023 to all digital streaming music platforms. This new single is from Vega’s upcoming album As I Travel which will be released on October 27, 2023. The album consists of 9 tunes, all composed and arranged by Vega. The album depicts ...


News: Award / Grant

Pianist Donald Vega Receives Guggenheim Fellowship In Composition

Pianist Donald Vega Receives Guggenheim Fellowship In Composition

On April 5, 2023, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the winners of this year’s Guggenheim Fellowship. Donald Vega was named a fellow in the Creative Arts category for composition. “...an exceptionally articulate pianist... Vega's single most distinctive characteristic is his romantic lyricism." —JazzTimes The award provides Vega with support to complete his newest recording ...


Article: Album Review

Ron Carter: Finding The Right Notes

Read "Finding The Right Notes" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Going back to the fall of 2016 and Ron Carter's appearance at the Detroit Jazz Festival as artist-in-residence, the buzz was that a biographical film on the man named the most recorded bassist in history was in the pipeline. During that festival, a film crew was seen regularly following Carter around Hart Plaza and the bassist ...


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