Donald Vega Jazz Quintet To Perform At Union County College

calendarCRANFORD – The public is invited to come to Union County College’s Cranford campus at noon on Friday, Oct. 18, to enjoy a free jazz concert. The Donald Vega Jazz Quintet will perform in the Roy Smith Theater. They will be joined by guest vocalist Shirley Crabbe. A question and answer period will follow their performance.

The Donald Vega Quintet includes pianist Donald Vega, bassist Yasushi Nakamura – one of the fastest rising stars in jazz today, saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, and drummer Marion Felder – an established part of New York City’s jazz scene and a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. Both, along with Donald Vega, are Juilliard alumni. Master classes are led by Donald Vega and facilitated by the members of his quintet. Jazz vocalist Shirley Crabbe studied at the Manhattan School of Music and is well known in the jazz clubs and on the stage in New York City.

Donald Vega was classically-trained in his native Nicaragua. He immigrated to the United States at age 14 and began learning the language of jazz from mentor Billy Higgins at The World Stage and later with bassist John Clayton at the University of Southern California. Following many surgeries Vega overcame a congenital defect that threatened hearing loss. He went on to graduate from Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School where he studied with piano great, Kenny Barron. Vega is currently the pianist for world-renowned bassist Ron Carter’s “Golden Striker” Trio.

On his sophomore album, Spiritual Nature, he is joined by the rhythm section of bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash, where he explores the marriage of jazz, Latin and classical music. Spiritual Nature was released on the Resonance Records label in August 2012. It stayed at the top of the jazz charts for several weeks, reaching all the way to #1.

The college’s Cranford campus is located at 1033 Springfield Avenue. For directions or more information on Union County College, visit

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