Trombonist, composer and arranger Papo Vázquez is celebrating 40 years into a career spanning the jazz, Latin, Afro-Caribbean and classical music and recording worlds.
Recent honors include an invitation by “The Presidents Own” US Marine Band to lead and direct the band on its first Afro Caribbean Jazz performance in the long history of this band, in Washington, DC.
In May 2013, was commissioned by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Symphony Space to compose new music for “Nueva Musica” concert series, in New York.
In 2011, was presented with a Latino Masters Award by the Pregones Theater under The National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Presenting program.
In 2010, was commissioned by Mr. Wynton Marsalis to compose a work inspired by Cuban painter Wilfredo Lam, he conducted and performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Orchestra on The Jazz and Art concert.
In 2008, won a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for Papo Vázquez’ Mighty Pirates 2008 recording Marooned/Aíslado.
In 2007, was commisioned by The Bronx River Arts Center to compose a new piece titled River Rising for their 20th anniversary.
Vázquez was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After spending his early years in Puerto Rico, he grew up in the heart of North Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community. He bought his first trombone from a friend for $5 and joined the elementary school band.