Thursday February 7, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Ray Vega and his Latin Jazz Quintet will perform at the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Vega is one of the foremost Latin-jazz trumpeters in the world, an alumnus of the legendary ensembles of Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauza, Ray Barretto and Tito Puente (includes three Grammy-winning recordings).

Appearing with Vega at the Vermont Jazz Center will be Zaccai Curtis on piano, Andy Eulau on bass, Diego Lopez on drums and Chembo Corniel on congas.

Now a senior lecturer in jazz studies at the University of Vermont, Vega is also in high demand as a guest artist. Vega has conducted master classes in trumpet performance, jazz improvisation, brass performance techniques and Afro-Caribbean jazz at many schools. He has also served as Artist in Residence for the Flynn Arts Latin Jazz in Burlington.

He is a veteran of some of the most illustrious bands of our time, both Latin and straight-ahead jazz. He performed with Tito Puente, Joe Henderson, Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, The Lincoln Center Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Bebo Valdez and Celia Cruz.

Vega is bringing with him his right-hand man on congas, Wilson "Chembo" Corniel who has recorded on most of Vega’s recordings as a leader. Corniel was a 2009 Grammy-nominee who has toured with Hilton Ruiz, Tita Puente, Machito, Jane Bunnett and Spritis of Havana, Chico Freeman, Chico O’Farrill and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The drummer is Diego Lopez, who has played with Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Shirley Scott, Hilton Ruiz, Paquito D’Rivera, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jane Bunnett, Dave Valentin, Dave Samuels, Diane Schurr and Gato Barbieri.

Bassist Andy Eulau has performed classical, blues, R&B, and jazz on four continents. He has played with Ray Barretto, Freddy Bryant, Grant Green Jr., Junior Mack, and Bobby Sanabria.

Pianist Zaccai Curtis performs with Ralph Peterson, Brian Lynch, Wallace Roney, Cindy Blackman, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Papo Vasquez and others.

Tickets for Ray Vega’s New York Latin Jazz Quintet at VJC are $20 for general admission, and $15 for students with ID (contact VJC about educational discounts). Tickets are available at In the Moment Record Store, at www.vtjazz.org or they can be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1 or purchased at the door.