Trumpet With A New York Edge: Ray Vega

by chipboaz on March 1, 2017

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There’s lots of ways to incorporate the sound and feel of a regional scene into your music, but that becomes a bigger task when talking about Latin Jazz in New York City. Long thought of as the jazz “capital,” there’s no doubt that New York City houses more jazz musicians than most cities around the world. Something magical happens to musicians surrounded by so much jazz that raises their game to a completely new level. Lots of musicians certainly integrate the aesthetics of New York into their music, but there’s nothing more authentic than a performance from a musician born and raised in the area.

Trumpet player Ray Vega has been performing a strong blend of traditional jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms for many years. Originally from New York City, Vega honed his chops on a combination of formal studies and practical experience. As a result, he has equal ability and experience with classical music, jazz performance, Afro-Cuban music, and more. His performance credits include time playing alongside Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Mario Bauzá, Ray Barretto, and more. as a leader, he has released a number of albums that have walked between swing and Latin Jazz, including Pa’lante, and the East-West Trumpet Summit, and Chapter Two. As you can see in today’s video, which features Vega leading his group through two Wayne Shorter tunes, “El Guacho” and “Masqualero,” he’s delivering some high quality music, performed with a distinct sound and a New York edge.

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