Born in 1951, Roland Vazquez worked after high school as a drummer with R&B and rock bands in L.A. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Westminster College in 1975 where he began composing for jazz-fusion bands. As a member of Clare Fischer's all-star band ?Salsa Picante? (1978-1981), he played on the Grammy winning ?Salsa Picante 2+2.? Vazquez received an NEA Jazz Performance Grant in 1977; which led to his recording ?Urban Ensemble.
?? (?a decade ahead of its time?/Billboard Magazine). His next albums, ?The Tides of Time? (1988), ?No Separate Love? (1991), and ?Further Dance? (1997) featured works for octets, quintets, and big bands. In 1985 Vazquez received his Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and later taught ensembles as a member of the Jazz faculty (1988-1998). His works leaned towards chamber music in the 1990?s (?Piano Analogies,? ?Further Dance,? and ?The Blue Field?), and in 1999, The Illinois Philharmonic premiered ?Ghost in the Mountain? for string quartet and orchestra. In 2000, he and his wife, composer Susan Botti, accepted positions at the University of Michigan, where he taught Jazz Composition, began a Latin Jazz Ensemble, and presented ?Intro to Latin Music? ? a historical perspective of music of the Afro Latin diaspora at the U of Michigan's American Culture/Ethnic Studies wing. In 2003, he received a MCAC Grant for his Afro Latin Jazz suite ?Music for Percussion Quartet & 3 Jazz Players.? During 2005-2006, Vazquez was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, where he composed and toured with various artists. In 2007, he released ?Quintet Live? and performed Botti's ?Jabberwocky? at the Disney Center in L.A. He has been a featured clinician/performer at Eastman, Berklee, Ohio University, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In 2009, he received a Grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music in support of his jazz orchestra CD, ?The Visitor.? Recordings of his music are available at his website: www.rolandvazquez.com