Purchase College jazz professor and trumpeter Ray Vega, Bronx, NY, received the 2007 Bobby Capó Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Battery Park City Authority at a ceremony on September 6. Vega also received a Certificate of Recognition from Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
The award was created by the Battery Park City Authority in 1997 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The award honors Hispanics within the State of New York who have distinguished themselves in the arts and public service.
Ray Vega leads the Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra and teaches jazz trumpet in the Purchase College School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music. A Bronx native, he is a multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer and arranger who presents jazz from a refreshingly original and contemporary perspective. He grew up immersed in jazz and salsa in New York City and learned about these two musical styles with some of the great legends. A much-in-demand musician, he has performed with Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauza’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, and Ray Barretto and the New World Spirit. He also joined the Tito Puente Orchestra as lead trumpeter and recorded many albums with the group, including the Grammy-winning Mambo Birdland, Dancemania ‘99 and Obra Maestra. He was the last lead trumpeter of this legendary ensemble.
Bobby Capó was an accomplished and renowned artist who enjoyed the respect and admiration of millions of individuals throughout the world. Born in Coamo, Puerto Rico, Mr. Capó worked for the office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for the City of New York and for the office of the State Department of Probation. The award honors his many achievements in the arts, his life of public service and his love for mankind.