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Jazz Caliente: Ray Vega Returns to Seattle for the East-West Trumpet Summit

Ray Vega performs in the KNKX studio, 2014
Justin Styer
Ray Vega performs in the KNKX studio, 2014

Trumpeter Ray Vega is a veteran of Latin Jazz, having worked in the bands of Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto and Mario Bauza.  A native of the South Bronx, he's a multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer, and arranger.  You'll hear quite a bit of Ray's music on Jazz Caliente, from his albums Boperation, Pa'lante and Squeeze Squeeze.

Ray currently lives in Vermont, where he teaches and is honored as a University Scholar at the University of Vermont. 

Vega's connection to Seattle comes mainly from his friendship with Thomas Marriott, a Northwest favorite trumpeter.  They've collaborated for several years on the "East-West Trumpet Summit," which has produced two hard-swinging albums on Origin Records.  They're performing at Tula's in Seattle tonight and Saturday night.

CD cover, Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, "Diablo En Brooklyn"
Credit Saponegro Records, Lima, Peru
CD cover, Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, "Diablo En Brooklyn"

Also on this week's Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll celebrate Halloween with devil's dances conjured by Tito Puente and Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Sextet, and take a ride with "Dracula's Chauffeur," courtesy of guitarist Richie Zellon.

And we'll remember the great bandleader, composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, who would have been 96 years old this Saturday.  We'll hear his tribute to his two homes, Cuba and Manhattan, which he called "Rhapsody for Two Islands."

Here's Ray Vega's Latin Jazz Sextet with "Descarga" from the album Pa'lante.

Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5:00 p.m.  The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.