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Clarinetist, Saxophonist, Composer, Bandleader Ernesto Vega is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Art in Havana, Cuba. He also attended The Jose M. Ochoa Music Conservatory in Holguin, Cuba.
At the age of 17 Down Beat magazine mentioned his interpretative style on the clarinet, which recalled the legend of this instrument Artie Shaw. This article of Ernesto Vega in Down Beat happened at the jazz Plaza Festival in Havana, 1998 where he performed with pianist Frank Emilio Flink, a myth of Latin Jazz in Cuba. At the same festival he also perfomed with Cuban figures such as Chucho Valdes, Bobby Carcasses, Roy Hargrove and Ernan Lopez Nussa. His first international performance was in 2003 when the multitalented Chilean musician Carlos Masa invited him to participate in two CDs for Label Bleu, (Amiens, France): Chocala and Salvedad. At that time they were also performing their music in Europe at the Lausanne Jazz Festival
(Switzerland) and Amiens Jazz Festival (France). Same year Ernesto also won the First Award at the international jazz competition Jojazz, celebrated every year in Havana, Cuba. In 2004, he became a member of the Oriental Quartet along with the Cuban Jazz Pianist Alejandro Vargas. As a member of this project he played in several international festivals such: Quito Jazz Festival (Ecuador) and Mercado Cultural (Cultural Market) in Sao Paolo and Bahia (Brazil). The first recording of the Oriental Quartet came out under the name of (Trapiche) in 2008. This record won the Cubadisco Award. Later, Ernesto was collaborating in more than 30 discographic productions, becoming one of the most important young figures of clarinet in Cuba. In 2009, he recorded his first solo CD "Venir al Mundo" ( Coming Into the World) both as a composer and performer this project won the Cubadisco Award (Cuban Grammy) as the best jazz recording of the year, by the same period the Cuban Bassist Jorge Reyes invited Ernesto to be part of the Cuban All Star band project that was accompanying the famous Colombian singer Yuri Buenaventura for a world tour including the prestigious : North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Jazz in Marciac (France), Django Reinhardt jazz Festival (Paris, France), Creole jazz festival (Cabo Verde, Africa), Cayenne jazz festival (Guyane, France) among others . In 2010 Ernesto had an important appearance with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in their they visit to Havana, his second project an audiovisual DVD called " DUO" came in 2012 along with the talented pianist Harold Lopez Nussa, this live concert was nominated for the Cubadisco award as the best live concert of the year.
Since 2013 Ernesto is currently based in Houston TX being one of the most demanded musicians in the city, in 2017 he was invited as a soloist by Arturo O'farril and his Afrolatin jazz Orchestra to record the album "Familia" along with Chucho Valdéz this CD won a Grammy as best intrumental composition, from 2018 Mr. Vega has been sharing stages in US with renowned artists such: Jon Faddis, Michael Philip Mossman, Andy Martin, Jeff Coffin , John Fedchock, Eric Marienthal, Wynton Marsalis, Vincent Gardner, Ed Simon, Clarice Assad, Helen Sung, Conrad Herwig... Ernesto's versatility and virtousity make him one of the leading musicians of his generation and one of the fifinest woodwinds instrumentalists from the Island of Cuba.
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