10th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert: A Rare Treat for Anyone Who Loves Really Good Music

Written by The Jazz Gypsy

Saturday December 8, 2007, One show only - 8pm
Musician's Institute
1665 Mc Cadden Place
Hollywood, CA

3:00 pm � Drum Clinic with Abe Laboriel Jr.
4:30 pm � Final Competition, Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholarship
8:00 pm � Concert � One show only!

Every year, some of the greatest singers and musicians on the West Coast come together to pay musical tribute to their long lost friend and drummer extraordinaire, Carlos Vega. People come from all over the world and usually some of Carlos's family and friends attend as well.

The 2007 line-up of artists include Jim Keltner, Abe Laboriel Jr., Tom Brechtlein, & Forrest Robinson (drums); Demy Dias, Lee Ritenour, James Harrah (Guitar); John Pena , Carlitos Del Puerto (Bass); Lenny Castro, Richie Garcia, Mayuto Correa, Chris Trujilo (Percussion); Alex Ligterwood, Leslie Smith, James Felix, Moon Calhoun, Rosemary Butler (vocals); Larry Klimas, Bill Bergman (sax); Harry Kim, Walt Fowler (trumpet); Dori Cayimi, Adrian Tapia, Jimmy Earl, Amanda Maiden and �Government Cheese,� featuring Lexi Vega. And like each previous Tribute, even more surprise guest will be in attendance.

Last year was the first time I attended �The Tribute�. Initially, I was going because one of my favorite musicians, trumpeter Greg Adams, was performing. Adams was just one of over 25 artists on the line-up and he was the only musician I was familiar with. So the day before the concert, I decided to �Google� the other artists on the line-up. To my surprise and delight, my �Google� search revealed that everyone in the line-up had a very long and stellar musical lineage. Who knew? I didn�t. So now, I was stoked about not just seeing Greg Adams but the other artists as well. Thank you Google!

Last years� Tribute was awesome. The ample-size stage was so crowded that the musicians had to play in shifts. And, best of all, the whole concert was an out-and-out jam session, with David Garfield at the helm both performing and orchestrating. I don�t know about you but sometimes I tire of seeing the well-scripted and rehearsed performances that are the mainstay of the smooth jazz circuit. Just because I like smooth jazz it doesn�t mean that I have divorced myself from the roots in which it sprang. Those roots include spontaneity, stretching out beyond the planned routine and delivering something fresh and in the moment. That�s what happens at the Carlos Vega Memorial Concert and why I say the event is a rare treat for anyone that loves good music.

Ticket Information
VIP seating is available online at Ticket Web or visit creatchy.com to pre-purchase the best seats which are being held on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the show, subject to availability. All VIP (prepaid) ticket holders can attend the drum clinic and competition for free.

There will be many equipment giveaways, raffle items and a silent auction going on all day. Auction items include drums, cymbals and a DW drum set.

About Carlos Vega
Carlos Vega, (December 7, 1956 � April 7, 1998), was born in Cuba and brought to the U.S. at an early age. He grew up in L.A. with many major session musicians and went to high school with Mike Landau, Jeff Porcaro, and Steve Lukather. In 1975 he co-formed a band called Karizma with his close friend David Garfield. Vega, a Los Angeles-based session drummer, was best known for his studio recordings and tours with James Taylor.

Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour was among the first to recognize Vega's talent and hire the young drummer to record and perform professionally. Ritenour also recommended Vega to Taylor when the latter needed a new drummer in the mid-'80s.

Sources report that besides his work with Taylor -- which included the studio releases "Never Die Young," "New Moon Shine," and "Hourglass," plus Taylor's "(Live)" album -- Vega had recorded and/or performed with Freddy Hubbard, Boz Scaggs, Lee Ritenour, Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Olivia Newton-John (including the "Grease" soundtrack), Larry Carlton, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and Randy Newman. To read more about Vega: http://www.james-taylor.com/sbj/issue3/carlos.shtml

All proceeds from The Tribute will go to The Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholarship.

The Jazz Gypsy Tip: Tired of the monotonous performances on the smooth jazz circuit? The Carlos Vega Annual Memorial Birthday Tribute is the antidote!