“One of the first sounds that I heard as my mom brought me home from the hospital in my native Dominican Republic was my father’s saxophone playing in the background (or so that was the story my mother told me!),” he says. “I grew up on the rhythms, notes, and Caribbean beats of my father’s influence and so it was only natural that, of course, I also itched to play.”
After a couple of attempts on the trumpet, his heart formed an alliance with the saxophone. At 16, he got my first thrill of playing in my local town of Salcedo as part of the marching band. After that, he graduated to playing at different events and venues from merengue to salsa to classical music, amongst other genres.
Later on, he traveled to the capital of Santo Domingo and continued his knowledge at the National Conservatory of Music, where he studied under various Masters of Music and where Jazz was introduced to his repertoire. His travels brought me to Kew Gardens, Queens, and he continued with Jazz studies here at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music.
“Jazz reaches my soul and brings it to new heights- it inspires me in all aspects, especially when people can feel what I feel as well,” he says. “I have played in many Latin bands throughout my career that has brought me to many countries throughout the world. Creativity again was knocking on my door and I produced a merengue album in its entirety. Although Merengue is my home base when it comes to music- jazz is an integral part of me in the way it feeds my soul.”
Tell us about you – how you started as a performer/artist?
I started playing locally in my hometown of Salcedo, the Dominican Republic in marching bands, local merengue, and salsa groups, and playing classical music at city events. Then I moved on to international merengue groups and Latin bands.
Where did you grow up / where do you live?
I grew up in Salcedo, Dominican Republic. I currently live in Kew Gardens, Queens.
What do you hope audiences learn/discover/feel when they listen to your music?
I hope that people get the expression of sentiment that I transmit through my interpretation of my sounds.
What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
It means for me more growth and inspiration in jazz working in tandem with others.
When did you first start attending the Jazz Jams / and what do you like about them?
I started in April of 2016 and I love the opportunity it gives you to play what I want.
What is on the horizon for you (what other projects are you working on?
Currently, I am working on establishing my own entertainment business- VitikingMusicEntertainment@gmail.com
What else do you want us to know about you!?
I am always down with playing Jazz!!!