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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 17, 2002

(Mahwah) – Ray Vega, one of the hottest trumpet players in the U.S. today, will perform with his sextet in a Latin jazz tribute to the great masters of jazz in a concert at Ramapo College of New Jersey Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater. The program will include a Latin jazz approach to works by the late Tito Puente, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter and Charlie Parker.

A native of the South Bronx, Vega is a veteran of salsa and Latin jazz bands of Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Nieves and Celia Cruz, to name a few. He has established himself as one of the innovators of the new generation of Latin jazz players with his own fiery brand of real New York Latin jazz – a true fusion of jazz repertoire and Latin rhythms. A multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer and arranger, he presents Latin jazz from a refreshingly original and contemporary perspective. His two recordings on the Concord Picante label, his self-titled debut Ray Vega, and Boperation, were well-received by critics and audiences alike.

Vega grew up immersed in the heart of two vibrant New York City music scenes: salsa and jazz. In addition to learning about these two musical styles with some of the great legends, he received his formal training, studying trumpet with Michael Lawrence, Stan Shafran, Laurie Frank, Richard Brezowski and Jerry Gonzales. He studied jazz harmony and improvisation with Susan Winder, Bobby Rogovin and Lonnie Hillyer and Afro-Caribbean percussionist Luis Bauzo.

An in-demand musician, Vega has performed with Mongo Santamaria with whom he recorded three CDs, Mario Bauza’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, including their first-ever European tour, and Ray Barretto and the New World Spirit. Vega recorded two projects with this landmark group including the Grammy-nominated Taboo. It was during his time with Barretto that Vega was called upon to join the Tito Puente Latin Jazz Orchestra, of which he is still lead trumpeter. He recorded with Puente’s orchestra many times included the Grammy-winning Mambo Birdland. He can also be heard on Conrad Herwig’s Grammy-nominated The Latin Side of Coltrane and Grammy-winning Joe Henderson’s The Joe Henderson Big Band.

Next season Palmetto Records will release Vega’s third recording as a leader Pa’lante. The recording features the members of his Latin Jazz Sextet: Bobby Porcelli, Igor Atalita, Boris Kozlov, Willie Martinez and Wilson “Chembo” Corniel.

Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. For ticket information, call (201) 684-7844.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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