promoting the art of Music Arranging, Composition and Orchestration within the entertainment industry community and the general public.

promoting the art of Music Arranging, Composition and Orchestration within the entertainment industry community and the general public.

Big Band Hanginar: Roland Vazquez on Afro to Jazz — Jazz to Afro

ASMAC Big Band Hanginar:

Afro to Jazz and Jazz to Afro:
Exploring the deep African connection to American Jazz

featuring Roland Vazquez

Plus Elliot Deutsch on Big Band Arranging Secrets Revealed. Moderated by Scott Healy.

LA 7 PM  |  NY 10 PM  |  JP 11 AM (+ 1 day)  |  AUS (Sydney) 1 PM (+ 1 day)

Join Scott Healy with Roland Vazquez and other esteemed audience guests who will discuss the dynamic interactions & rich multi-cultural dialogues between Afro & Indigenous music cultures of the mid to late 20th century; examples of compositions as they were recorded by their composers: either Afro American or Afro Caribbean Jazz masters; and then as re-interpreted by their musical cousins “on the other side of the clave”.

The “American Jazz” we are familiar with, at its essence, is a language deeply influenced by ancient rhythms, cultural traditions, formal evolutions, and both literal and abstract “sacred & secular vocabularies”—inherited long ago from the diasporas of music from Mother Africa. Jazz music continues to inherit from multiple cultural legacies, to evolve and to contribute to the live music of today’s world. The deep African connection to American Jazz remains as a “coaxial cable to essential Blackness (Robert Ferris Thompson).”

Roland Vazquez

Composer, drummer, producer and educator Roland Vazquez first worked as a drummer with R&B and rock groups in and around LA. He began writing for his jazz-fusion bands during the mid-70's; receiving an NEA Jazz Performance Grant in '77, which helped establish his music, and led to his production of "Urban Ensemble - the Music of Roland Vazquez" ("funky salsa bebop" / "a decade ahead of its time"/ Billboard '79). During those years, he did multiple studio projects, also performed regularly with his band - and then also other bands in and around California. These included Shirley Walker Trio, Don Randi's Quest, Willie Bobo, and as a core-member of Clare Fischer's legendary "Salsa Picante" ('78-'81), he played on "Salsa Picante 2+2" ("Best Latin Jazz Album" Grammy in 1982).

Moving to NYC in '81, his next recordings, "Feel Your Dream" ('82), "The Tides of Time"('88), "No Separate Love" ('91), and "Further Dance" ('97) featured his music for quintet, tentet, and big band. These recordings were performed by his all-star Jazz ensembles; receiving acclaim from press and strong airplay at national Jazz radio. During the '80s and '90s, he performed regularly at Jazz Festivals, various colleges, and NYC venues (Mikell's, 7th Avenue South, The Bottom Line, and The Village Gate). During the '90s, he began performing his music with "Roland Vazquez Big Band." His compositions shifting more and more towards "Latin rhythmic chamber jazz ..." (Milkowski/Downbeat '97).

Graduating from Manhattan School of Music (MM '85), he was hired to that Jazz Faculty; teaching ensembles there from '88-'99; also introducing the first "MSM Latin Jazz Big Band" ('98). In 2000, he was invited to join the Jazz Faculty at the University of Michigan: initially teaching Jazz Composition classes, then initiating a "Latin Jazz Ensemble," co-directing the school's "Improviser's Ensemble," and then presenting "Music of the Afro Latin Diaspora" at U of M's American Culture/Ethnic Studies wing. In 2003, he received a Michigan Arts Council Grant in support of his Afro Latin chamber suite "Music for Percussion Quartet & 3 Jazz Players." He and his "multiple university ensemble" presented the work in concert at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, several universities and colleges, and also at PASIC that same year.

During '05-'06, Vazquez lived with his family as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, Italy; where he composed and performed with various Italian & touring US jazz artists. In 2007, he returned to NY, settling with his family in the Hudson Valley; and then releasing "Quintet Live" (a composite of Canadian Jazz Festival performances).

In recent years, he has been featured as a "Guest Artist" in concert clinic & lecture residencies at Eastman, Berklee, Hart School of Music, UCCM, William Patterson, U. of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, Queens College, Ohio U., etc. In 2010, Vazquez received a grant from the prestigious Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. - supporting his all-star Big Band recording, "The Visitor". "The star of 'The Visitor' is Vazquez' luminous, precise writing " (Sublette/Downbeat '10). In 2014, the Grammy Award-winning Big Band "Afro Bop Alliance" was funded by New Music USA to record three of Vazquez's large works, which were then released on their CD "Revelation".

He is currently on Faculty at Vassar and Bard Colleges, recently teaching "American Jazz History," "Afro Caribbean Percussion Ensemble," and private studio lessons in composition and drums. He also performs regularly with his ensembles at clubs, colleges, and Jazz Festivals. He is currently scheduled to present a new survey course at Bard in Fall '21, entitled "Music of the Black Atlantic." Roland's website

Elliot Deutsch

Elliot Deutsch is a busy composer and arranger from Los Angeles, CA. He has written arrangements for a who's-who of jazz celebrities including Arturo Sandoval, Take 6, and Jane Monheit, and prominent organizations including the Kennedy Center Jazz Orchestra, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and the US Air Force Band of the Golden West.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Deutsch has turned his focus toward his own project, The Pandemonium Big Band. Since April, PBB has released nine virtual performances to their YouTube channel. His regular releases, along with accompanying instructional videos, have made Deutsch a prominent fixture of the burgeoning online jazz scene. Elliot's Website

Scott Healy

Moderator and ASMAC Board Member Scott Healy is an LA-based, Grammy-nominated composer, producer, pianist, and multi-keyboardist, best-known for playing in the house band for Conan O’Brien. Scott's Website


Event Date Wednesday, March 29, 2023 7:00 pm
Cut off date Wednesday, March 29, 2023 9:00 pm
Individual Price Free
Location Online