Vital Information

Steve Smith and Vital Information are approaching their 30th anniversary of recording and touring since their 1983 debut. Their longevity is unparalleled by any major fusion band. Some of the most notable musicians to have recorded and toured with Vital Information over the last 30 years include Mike Stern and Dean Brown, Tim Landers and Kai Eckhardt. Steve Smith, the group’s founder, is also its drummer. His history includes Journey and Steps Ahead, as well as The Buddy Rich Big Band, Ahmad Jamal and Zakir Hussain, and Hiromi. Modern Drummer Magazine recently voted Steve the #1 Fusion Drummer 2012. Smith has been a winner of many Modern Drummer readers polls, including the #1 All-Around Drummer title for five consecutive years. In 2001, Smith was named one of The Top 25 Drummers of All Time. In 2002, he was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. Drum! Readers of the Magazine voted Steve #1 Jazz drummer. His Hudson Music DVDs Steve Smith: Drumset Technique/History Of The U.S. Beat and Drum Legacy: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants are top sellers in music education. Smith quickly points out that the band’s incredible versatility is due to its bassist. Smith, Smith’s rhythm section partner since 1998, says that Baron added a serious groove element to their band. Browne is a favorite bass player because he can play any style and makes the music sound so good. Browne has previously worked with Gary Burton and Jean-Luc Ponty. Tom Coster is a multi-keyboarder who can play everything from Hammond B3 and accordion. He was a member of Gabor Szabo’s band before joining Santana. This nine year stint saw him playing with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Rahsaan Ral Kirk. Coster co-composed several of Santana‚Äôs most beloved tunes, including Europa, Dance Sister Dance, and Carnaval. He has released many solo albums and is a Vital Information member since 1986. Vinny Valentino is a musician and educator who has been performing and recording with Vital Information since 2006. Vinny started jazz as a profession at the age of 16 after being influenced by George Benson’s music. He recalls that “the turning point” for him was seeing George Benson live. It was an eye-opening moment. Vinny and George became close friends after the death of George Benson, his mentor. George Benson describes Vinny, a “young genius” with a brilliant tone and new ideas. Vinny received his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University. He has performed on the stages and recorded with jazz legends such as Gary Bartz and Randy Brecker, Bill Evans and Richard Bona. Vital Information is a band of talented jazz musicians that are more flexible and organized than any other. from www.vitalinformation.com

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