The music of Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter became a strong influence on his big band writing. He began working in the studios, composing music for television, while continuing to add to his extensive body of work written for big band. He completed his post-graduate composition and conducting studies at the University of Southern California. During this time he met a kindred spirit in drummer Peter Erskine, who included him in his mixed ensemble recording, "Transition" on Denon records.
Mendoza contributed several compositions to this recording as well as on some of Erskine's subsequent recordings. They have since become frequent collaborators. His early solo albums on Blue Note Records, “Start Here” and “Instructions Inside”, were critical triumphs that featured such artists as John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Ralph Towner, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine and others. “Start Here” was voted one of Jazziz Magazine's “Top Picks” and Mendoza was recognized as “Best Composer/Arranger” by Swing Journal's critics poll in Japan. Through his profile-building stint as guest arranger and conductor of the WDR Big Band, based in Cologne, Germany, Mendoza became widely known in Europe as a multi-talented composer arranger with a deep understanding of contemporary styles.
His work on the CD “The Vince Mendoza / Arif Mardin Project: Jazzpaña” with the WDR Big Band, brought him a Grammy nomination for “best instrumental arrangement”. Since then, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden, Andy Narell, Kurt Elling and John Abercrombie have prominently featured Vince Mendoza's compositions and arrangements on their albums. Currently, Mendoza is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of The Metropole Orchestra, having been appointed since 2005. In February 2008, he received his fourth Grammy Award for his arrangement of Joe Zawinul’s "In A Silent Way". Mendoza was also a Grammy nominee in Feb 2009, in the category of "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)", for his orchestral arrangement of Alfie, one of several classics that Dutch vocalist trijntje oosterhuis recorded for her album, The Look of Love - Burt Bacharach Songbook. Official website: http://www.vincemendoza.net 2 Guitarist Vince Mendoza is based on Southern California. Official website: http://www.vincemendoza.com/ Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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