Ray Vega trumpet player.

Ray Vega’s trumpet shines coast to coast

A native of the South Bronx, and immersed in the heart of two vibrant New York City music genres during his formative years – jazz and salsa – Ray Vega has established himself as one of the innovators of the international jazz and latin music scenes.

A multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer, and arranger, he presents jazz from a refreshingly original and contemporary perspective.

His two recordings on the Concord Picante label, his self-titled debut Ray Vega, and Boperation, along with his first release on the Palmetto label Pa’lante have been well received by critics, audiences, and musicians alike.

Vega’s second Palmetto CD Squeeze, Squeeze has also received critical acclaim including Four Stars in Down Beat Magazine. 

The Ray Vega Latin Jazz Quintet presents fiery Latin Jazz from a Nuyorican perspective, while his quartet focuses on straight ahead swinging Jazz.

 His latest album release is a collaboration with Thomas Marriott. East West Jazz Summit: Coast to Coast features the man himself on trumpet, Thomas Marriott (trumpet); Orrin Evans (piano); Michael Glynn (bass); and Roy McCurdy (drums).

I Told You So

Vega is a much in-demand musician, he has performed with Mongo Santamaria with whom he recorded numerous CDs, Mario Bauza’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, including their first-ever European tour, and Ray Barretto and the New World Spirit.

He recorded three projects with this landmark group including the Grammy nominated Taboo and Contact. It was during his time with Barretto that Vega was called upon to join the Tito Puente Latin Jazz Orchestra as lead trumpeter. He recorded with Puente’s Orchestra many times over including the Grammy winning Mambo Birdland, Dancemania ’99 and Obra Maestra.