Carlos Vega


Paiste Artist Since
July 1983

United States

Other Affiliations
Session Great
James Taylor


Cymbals listed from left to right

13" Signature Heavy Hi-Hat (discontinued)
17" Signature Mellow Crash
20" Signature Traditionals Medium Ride (discontinued)
16" Signature Mellow Crash
20" Signature Thin China (discontinued)


07.12.1956-07.04.1998 Carlos Vega was a Cuban-born Los Angeles-based session drummer best known for his performances with James Taylor. Vega contributed to a wide variety of music during the rise and popularity of the California singer-songwriter movement. Besides his work with Taylor over the past decade -- which included the studio releases "Never Die Young," "New Moon Shine," and "Hourglass," plus Taylor's "(Live)" album -- Vega had recorded and/or performed with Freddy Hubbard, Boz Scaggs, Lee Ritenour, Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Olivia Newton-John (including the "Grease" soundtrack), Larry Carlton, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and Randy Newman, according to sources. Vega was also a member of keyboardist David Garfield's fusion band Karizma. Drummer Steve Jordan, a friend of Vega's since the '80s, says Vega was "a stabilizing force in any group that he played in, which is the reason this thing is so shocking to everyone, because the circumstances of his departure were so incongruous with his life, at least the way we saw it." Jordan adds that Vega "fulfilled to the utmost the function of the drummer being the captain of the ship. Where [late Toto and session drummer] Jeff Porcaro left off, Carlos picked up." Carlos Vega died at home of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound on the eve of a scheduled April 8 appearance with Taylor on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," according to a published report.

Setup Cymbals

  • Details

    Sizes: 14"
    Volume: Loud
    Weight: Heavy

    Sound character: Bright, full, brilliant. Wide range, balanced, clean mix. Slightly heavy feel. Clear, full open sound. Cutting, precise chick sound. Good for heavier playing.

  • Sounds