What’s better than a cruise to Alaska? A Dave Koz Cruise to Alaska! The talent aboard the ship on a Dave Koz cruise is phenomenal, the musicianship, first-rate. Yet along side all these fabulous artists, a noticeably younger saxophone player can be found. Each night he performs along with the other more seasoned artists. Who is this young artist? It is Vincent Ingala. In such a competitive field, one wonders how such a young guy could land such a great gig alongside these names who’ve been at it for a while. Well, The Talent Notes had the chance to speak to Vincent and ask him if he’d tell us more. We found Vincent to be not only incredibly talented, but also extremely gracious and modest where his talents were concerned. Vincent is certainly a breath of fresh air!
TTN: Vincent, you look very young, yet you are performing alongside some big names, you were breakthrough artist of the year for 2013 XM Watercolors, you are performing in Europe and with Dave Koz… how is all of this happening for you so quickly?
VINCENT: I just never expected that any of this would happen. In 2010 I released my first album. I was playing locally, I had a local following in Connecticut, but I never really expected that it would go well. But unbeknownst to me the year after the album was released, radio stations all over the world started playing it. I was really surprised! Come to find out, when we released the album on iTunes, there are people out there who are just looking for new music. These people get so enthusiastic and it start catching on! This sort of hooked me up with a record promoter in Vegas and he ended up pushing the album at a local station. It got to be #14 on Billboard! We really thought this would just be something on a local level…I never had this sort of goal, it just sort of happened. It seems if you have high expectations you are likely to be disappointed, but if you don’t have big expectations then things work out better. I think there is something to that.
TTN: How did you initially meet Dave Koz?
VINCENT: That’s a good question! It was very cool, I met him when I was 16 years old. I was living in Prospect, Connecticut and the neighboring city was Waterbury…it had to be 2008 or 2009. It was a Christmas show and the local theater was putting on the show and I was the opening act. I had not met him before. I did a thirty minute warm up thing and I met him that night and we stayed in touch after that. I was just releasing my first album at the time. The relationship progressed and that led to the cruise and other opportunities. I kept in touch and we saw each other a year later in 2011. I made my debut in Sand Diego where I was doing a little showcase at a club there. There were two other artists and it turns out Dave happened to be in the audience that day. He was with a man who was a promoter at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival. So this all really goes back to age 16. Since then we have remained friends and I’m now working at his new club in Beverly Hills. It was only five years ago, a lot has happened in that four or five years, I never would have dreamed.
TTN: What can you tell us about the Spaghettini Sunday brunch and the Dave Koz Lounge?
VINCENT: Yes, well I will be performing there on Sundays. The house band has been doing lunch I am taking on that role in the new Spaghettini Lounge every Sunday brunch with my band. It’s a different crowd…family style, and it’s a learning process for all of us as we are all going into it cold. I’m very excited about it.
TTN: Did you come through a high school band department?
VINCENT: Yes, I came through a public school until high school, then I went to a private school. The band department was great and the director was very good. It’s sad that not many kids are in band anymore. You have to play music as part of your life, it becomes who you are. The other side of things is that I’ve seen lot of incredibly talented people in high school that would have been incredible players but they never pick up their instruments again.
TTN: Any on stage mishaps or bloopers you’d like to share with us?
VINCENT: One thing is I did my first Dave Koz cruise four years ago in Alaska playing with Peter White. It was my first show on the big stage and I was very excited because I had grown up listening to Peter White music. My parents were huge fans! I remember we were back stage, and the show was about to start. For some reason I thought I had all the time in the world to get ready, but the shows were moving quickly. Mindi Abair was on first then there was a quick transition and I thought it was a long transition. I was talking and laughing backstage, then all of a sudden Peter White said WE ARE ON! I have never moved so quickly because I started the first note of the number with him (laughs). I made it, but I learned a good lesson from the experience.
TTN: What’s next for you Vincent?
VINCENT: The brunch is really the next big thing for me. I’m also finishing up a third album and hoping to have it released in February or March, the first quarter of next year. Some guest people are on the album. I will be playing the Mallorca Jazz Festival in Spain next April, and continuing a package tour we are doing with a Swedish Keyboard player. He has been my touring partner all year. We just have a great vibe together, we are very energetic and he is young like me, so we have a soulful flair. I am seeing places that I have never dreamed of seeing. I’m seeing the power of music and what it does and how it brings people together. Music is a universal language. There is nothing that gets in the way with music and you can go all over the world and people can relate and share that common interest. That type of thing is truly addicting, and that’s why performers keep touring and continue to do it into their ripe old age.
We hope Vincent continues to tour into his ripe old age!! Read more about Vincent: