April 17, 2019

MSM Spotlight:
Jazz trombonist Armando Vergara (BM ’19)

Jazz tenor trombonist Armando Vergara is performing with Terence Blanchard in Manhattan School of Music’s Centennial Concert at Carnegie Hall TONIGHT!

Armando talks about why performing in this special concert is exciting for him, what it’s like to work with one of his idols, and how he came to be the musician that he is today.

What most excites you about this concert?

I’m excited to play with one of my heroes, Terence Blanchard. I think his compositions are amazing, and can’t believe I get to play his original music alongside him!

What piece are you performing in?

I am performing on a piece that Terence wrote called Mantra — it is a requiem for those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Armando Vergara, Jazz Tenor Trombone (BM '19), Photo by Toby Winarto, Viola (BM '19)

Where are you from? What inspired you to get into music?

I’m from South Florida and throughout my childhood I lived in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County. I started playing trombone in seventh grade, but my middle school actually didn’t have a band, so the local high school let me sit in on their rehearsals. The high school band leader was very influential to me; he opened me up to the world of music and introduced me to jazz, which I came to love so much that I decided to pursue it as a career.

Do you have any projects that you’re working on outside of school?

About four months ago I debuted my Latin jazz fusion ensemble, Mestizos, and I’m excited to be leading and writing for this talented group of musicians! This summer we have performances lined up around New York City and I am looking forward to playing such vibrant music in this incredible city with some of my best friends.

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