Roland Vazquez
Roland Vazquez

Renowned Drummer to be Featured at OU Spring Jazz Concert

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Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium will be filled with the sounds of horns, bass, piano and drums–lots of drums– during the OU Spring Jazz Concert on Friday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.

In addition to performances by the Ohio University Jazz Ensembles I & II and the Jazz Percussion Ensemble, noted percussionist and composer Roland Vazquez will be featured. This is Vazquez’s second visit to Ohio University as a guest of the jazz program.

After witnessing a 1963 performance by Latin jazz conga legend Mongo Santamaria, Vazquez was inspired to pick up the sticks, playing in various R&B or rock bands around Los Angeles, including the L.A. Jazz Ensemble, aka “the Urban Ensemble.”

Between 1978-1981, he was a sideman with pianist Clare Fischer, whose 2+2 album won a Grammy in 1981.

After signing to the GRP label, Vazquez continued to fuse Latin, soul, funk and bop genres, mixing traditional Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms with a steady R&B backbeat.

Since the 1980s, he has balanced his performing and recording activities with teaching at the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Michigan.

On Friday, Vazquez will premiere two of his works with the Jazz Percussion Ensemble. Student composer Dave Crider will also debut a new piece.

The concert is free and open to the public. Visit for more information.