Dillon Vado is an active professional drummer and vibraphonist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up in San Jose, California, and started playing music at the age of 8. Dillon learned a lot from a family friend early on in his life, but also played in school band programs throughout middle and high school. This fueled Dillon’s interest in eventually marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, and studying music full time at West Valley College. At West Valley, Dillon started playing the vibraphone, which eventually lead him to being a more serious multi-instrumentalist.
In 2012 Dillon transferred to the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree there in 2017. His performance experiences include playing in the South Bay scene at venues like the Art Boutiki, and Cafe Stritch, marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, recording at Fantasy Studios, and playing with other professionals at The Freight and Salvage, Yoshi’s, and the SF Jazz Center. He has played at local festivals such as the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and the Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco. He has also performed overseas at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Dillon has performed with Art Lande, Marcus Shelby, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, Erik Jekabson, Jeff Denson, Alan Hall, and Marcos Silva.
In 2014, Dillon won 1st place in the Jazz Search West competition on vibraphone, and in 2017 was also selected for the Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Award through the California Jazz Conservatory. Dillon can be found playing actively with Alan Hall’s Ratatet, Erik Jekabson’s String-tet, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and many other creative musical endeavors lead by his peers around the Bay Area. He also leads several projects of his own, including Never Weather, Beyond Words: Jazz and Poetry, and The Table Trio.