Carlos Vega

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Carlos Vega (December 7, 1956 – April 7, 1998) was a Cuban-born Los Angeles-based session drummer best known for his performances with James Taylor. As a part of the L.A. studio scene from the late 1970s through the 1990s, Vega contributed to a wide variety of music during the rise and popularity of the California singer-songwriter movement.


Carlos Vega was born in Cuba on December 7, 1956 and grew up in Los Angeles, with his parents and had 1 older sister.(SUE), California. He attended Eagle Rock High School (See E.R. at the Monterey Pop Jazz Festival with Carlos as a High school age student performing) (In Eagle Rock) A suburb Of L.A.(Los Angeles)|He knew Grant High School students] and collaborated with such future artists as Michael Landau, Jeff Porcaro, and Steve Lukather.

Vega co-formed his first band, Karizma, in 1975 with Michael Landau, David Garfield, Lenny Castro, and Jimmy Johnson.[1]

Vega performed with a wide variety of musicians across many genres,[2] including a 13-year collaboration with James Taylor[3] (featured on Live, Hourglass, Never Die Young, and New Moon Shine) and on Olivia Newton-John's double platinum album, Physical. He performed on the soundtrack for the film Grease.[4]

As a musician, Vega was a major influence on Jeff Porcaro, another outstanding Los Angeles studio musician and drummer for Toto.[5]

During a break from a James Taylor tour, on April 7, 1998, Vega died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[6] While most media reports stated that he died at home, it has also been written that his body was found on a deserted road overlooking Los Angeles.[7]

Since his death, there have been annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concerts, featuring drumming greats like Steve Ferrone and John Robinson.[8][9]

Selected Discography[edit]


  1. ^ "David Garfield : Creatchy : Keyboard Player". Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Carlos Vega | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Drummerworld: Carlos Vega". Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Kleiser, Randal (June 16, 1978), Grease, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, retrieved January 15, 2018
  5. ^ "Carlos Vega". Archived from the original on November 22, 2001. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  6. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (April 25, 1998). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  7. ^ Talevski, Nick (April 7, 2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857121172.
  8. ^ "Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert | Modern Drummer Magazine". Modern Drummer Magazine. November 27, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Nineteenth Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert | Modern Drummer Magazine". Modern Drummer Magazine. November 1, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2018.

External links[edit]