Trumpet summit pits East vs. West on Arlington stage

A world-class jazz concert is coming to Arlington, thanks to the city and the Arlington Arts Council.

Legendary New York trumpet ace Ray Vega will join his friend Thomas Marriott of Seattle in a reunion of the “East-West Trumpet Summit” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington.

Tickets are $15 and $10 for high school students, at Flowers by George, 335 N. Olympic Ave., Arlington, and at Kids 12 and younger are admitted at no charge. Proceeds support the acquisition of public art in Arlington.

The school’s Jazz One band, under the direction of John Grabowski, opens for the trumpeters.

Vega and Marriott have played together many times over the years. Vega, a New York native and the older of the two, was for many years a mentor to Marriott. They met at the University of Washington. They join forces once again for a new edition of their “East-West Trumpet Summit,” which will be recorded for a live-album release on Origin Records, based in Seattle.

Veterans of their respective scenes, the two trumpeters use their talents on arrangements of jazz classics and original material.

The ensemble includes pianist George Colligan, bassist Phil Sparks and Matt Jorgensen on drums.

Vega’s and Marriott’s 2010 East-West Trumpet Summit recording spent 21 weeks on the Jazz Week radio airplay charts. Their album was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” The band then toured North America and Europe.

The “summit” in the concert title refers to the east-west competition that is based on the impression many jazz lovers have that East Coast horn players “blow hot” and West Coast jazz musicians play in a “cooler vein.”

The concert is coordinated for the arts council by Paul Rauch of Arlington.

“With this performance,” said Rauch, a native New Yorker, “I am able to share this beautiful music with the town that I have called home for 30 years, where my children were born and raised.”

Rauch, also a musician, praised Grabowski’s high school jazz program and said he looks forward to having Arlington students share the stage with acclaimed professionals.

The fact that the Northwest is home to many internationally acclaimed jazz musicians makes such concerts possible, Rauch said.

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