Victor Mendoza

Professor

"There is a misconception that you take one course in Latin music, therefore you know it all. That'd be like saying you studied one Bach prelude, therefore you understand Baroque music. When it comes to Latin music and Latin jazz, it goes very deep."

"I'm a strong believer in tradition, but at the same time the idea is that the tradition evolves into something. It develops. You study bebop not to play like Charlie Parker, but to incorporate it into your music. You learn Tito Puente solos to incorporate it into your playing, into something a little more uniquely you."

"A friend of my father's—he's a very famous painter in Mexico—used to say there are three stages: One is that you learn what the master teaches you. Then you master what the maestro taught you. Then you do whatever you want with it."

Career Highlights

  • B.M., Northern Arizona University
  • Soloist and group performer in the United States and worldwide
  • Performances and/or recordings with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Paquito D'Rivera, Bob Moses, Terence Trent D'Arby, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, and George Garzone
  • Leader of CDs Victor Mendoza, If Only You Knew on Bellaphon International, and This Is Why on RAM Records
  • Numerous broadcast appearances including "Victor Mendoza in Concert" and All American Jazz on PBS television, and Kaleidoscope on BBC radio