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Carlos Vega drummer

The 1st Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 7, 1998
@ Cafe Cordial, Los Angeles, CA


Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholorship - click here for more info


Carlos Vega drummer Carlos Vega drummer
Carlos Vega drummer Carlos Vega drummer


A Few Reviews...

By Geof O'Keefe

It's an old cliche, but the stars definitely came out in honor of the late Carlos Vega's birthday at the Cafe Cordial this past Monday (12/7). Organized by fellow Karizma member keyboardist David Garfield (with the proceeds going to Vega's family), the ever-changing line-up of musicians who took part throughout the four-hour show reads like a "who's who" of the L.A. scene.

Aside from Garfield, performers included other keyboardists David Paich, Greg Mathieson, Neil Larsen, Don Randi and Steve Porcaro, guitarists Mike Landau, Steve Lukather, Mike Miller and Steve Farris, bassists Jimmy Johnson, Neil Stubenhaus, Bob Gloub, Oskar Cartaya, John Pena and Jimmy Earl, drummers Tris Imboden, Rick Marotta and Simon Phillips, percussionists Luis Conte and Lenny Castro, saxophonist Brandon Fields and vocalists Alex Ligertwood, Bobby Kimball, Jason Scheff, Kate Markowitz and Arnold McCuller.

Cafe Cordial is a small, low-key restaurant located along Ventura Boulevard, with no stage. The musicians were set up against a wall in the center, and shortly after 9pm, a line-up of Garfield, Mathieson, Landau, Lukather, Johnson, Fields, Castro and Imboden launched into "Blues For Ronnie" off of Karizma's recently-reissued debut Dream Come True CD. Lasting over fifteen minutes, most of the line-up took turns soloing and the sight of Lukather and Landau standing side-by-side was one for the memory books! The same group stayed intact for a second number, an unannounced Latin-flavored fusion instrumental dominated by Mathieson's organ riffs.

Following this, some member changes took place, including the addition of vocalist Ligertwood, and the ensemble burned through a cover of Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic." (note: when this writer returned to his table after a trip to the bar, none other than Mr. Landau was sitting in my seat, taking a break and watching the musicians play. When he saw I'd returned and was standing to the side of the stage area, he motioned me over and started to get up, but I waved him off to sit and enjoy the song. He was also engaged in a conversation with bassist Leland Sklar, who was in the audience but didn't perform.)

At the close of every number, Garfield would call various musicians up to the stage. One of the absolute highlights was a pair of songs performed by Hiroshima member June Kuramoto. Beautiful and elegant in a floor-length black dress, she sat and played the koto, a delicate stringed instrument that is plucked like a harp. Hearing Japanese melodies played with a fusion flavor was a unique treat, and Garfield should consider recording with her in the future.

Other highlights included Toto vocalist Bobby Kimball singing the old classic, "Rock Me Baby" (which also included an extended burning solo from Landau) and a rearrangement of the Miles Davis standard "All Blues." Also performed were "Lowdown" and "Let's Stay Together," along with some instrumental songs that allowed the musicians to stretch out.

The evening came to a close shortly after 1am as Ligertwood led the band through the old Marvin Gaye anthem, "What's Going On." What was going on this night at the Cafe Cordial was an amazing tribute to a musician who is gone too soon and obviously missed by many of his fellow players. You shoulda been there...

Geof O'Keefe



Check out exciting moments from past concerts :

December 7, 2008 - 11th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 8, 2007 - 10th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 9, 2006 - 9th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 3, 2005 - 8th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 11, 2004 - 7th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 12th, 2003 - 6th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 18th, 2002 - 5th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 8th, 2001 - 4th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 9th, 2000 - 3rd Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 7th, 1998 - 1st Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert



The Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholorship - click here for more info