Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing talents to a wide range of artists including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, and David Bowie.
As a youngster, Cuong’s intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released recordings that consistently make critics’ lists of the best recordings of their respective years. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory on the trumpet, blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic.
Awards and honors that Cuong has garnered include grants from the Royalty Research Foundation, ArtistTrust, 4Culture, CityArts and the Colbert Award for Excellence. As professor and chair of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington, Cuong was awarded the Donald E. Peterson Professorship and the University’s prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He’s been recognized as one of the top 50 young Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD” and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. Amazon listed Vu’s “Come Play With Me” on their “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time”. Most recently, Cuong received Europe’s Echo Jazz Awards – International Instrumentalist for his work on his recording, “Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny”.