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Sandoval, Arturo

Arturo Sandoval

Trumpeter, flugelhornist

Played with Dizzy in Cuba and Beyond

No Signs

A New Life

Selected discography

Sources

The 1994 release Arturo Sandoval Plays Trumpet Concertos may have marked contemporary jazz label GRPs first foray into classical music, as Paul Verna commented in Billboard, but for trumpeter Arturo Sandoval it is a revisiting of the repertoire he studied as a youth in Cuba. There, according to Sandoval, I never had a chance to perform with the symphony orchestra because it was always busy playing with Russian violinists and pianists. So I had to wait until I was free to be able to do it.

Born in 1949 in Artemis, a small village in the province of Havana, Cuba, Sandoval started playing at age 13 in the village band, where he learned the basics of music theory and percussion. After playing many instruments, he settled on the trumpet and the flugelhom; with both he would eventually to dazzle listeners throughout the world.

As a child Sandoval had little exposure to jazz. In a 1993 interview with Down Beat he commented, The only thing I used to hear was traditional Cuban music, what we call son, which was played by a septet with a trumpet and bongos. But one day, a trumpeter in Artemis played Sandoval a Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker record from 1946. Sandoval recalled that, upon hearing the album, he exclaimed, Oh, man! This is so weird. I dont understand nothing about what theyre trying to play. But that changed my mind completely. And Im still trying to find out what they were doing. In 1964 Sandoval entered the Cuban National School of Arts, where he studied classical trumpet for three years.

Played with Dizzy in Cuba and Beyond

Drafted into the military in 1971, Sandoval was able to play with the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna. During that time he affirmed his ability daily. After his discharge he continued playing in the well-known group Irakere, which he cofounded in 1973 with fellow Cuban greats Paquito DRivera and Churcho Valdes. The group continues to play in Havana under Valdess leadership. Irakere toured North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and Sandoval appeared at festivals in Berlin, Germany; Newport, Rhode Island; Montreux, Switzerland; and Warsaw, Poland, throughout the 1970s. In 1981 Sandoval started his own orchestra and continued touring worldwide.

Sandovals talent has led him to associations with many great musicians, but perhaps the most important was with the great bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, a longtime proponent of Afro-Cuban music, whom Sandoval calls his spiritual father, according to Juan Carlos

For the Record

Born November 6, 1949, in Artemis, Cuba; defected from Cuba, 1990; father was an auto mechanic; married; wifes name, Marianela; children: Arturin. Education: Studied classical trumpet at Cuban National School of Arts, 1964.

Jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist; while in Cuban military, member of Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna; cofounded band Irakere with Paquito DRivera and Churcho Valdes, 1973; recorded and toured with Dizzy Gillespie; started own orchestra, 1981.

Awards: Elected to Cubas National Hit Parade as best instrumentalist, 198284; named by Cuban Ministry of Culture to highest professional school; Grammy Award for best Latin jazz performance, 1995, for Danzón.

Addresses: Home Miami, FL. Record company GRP Records Inc., 555 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019. Publicity Carolyn McClair Public Relations, 410 W. 53rd St., No. 128C, New York, NY 10019.

Coto in Down Beat As Sandoval noted, the two musicians met in Cuba in 1977 when Gillespie was playing impromptu gigs throughout the Caribbean with saxophonist Stan Getz: I went to the boat to find him. Ive never had a complex about meeting famous people. If I respect somebody, I go there and try to meet them.

As Coto reported, Gillespie wanted to visit the black neighborhoods where musicians play guaguanco and rumba in the street. Sandoval offered to take Gillespie around in his car, and only later that night when he took the stage with Gillespie did Sandoval reveal himself as a musician. Their friendship remained strong as they continued to play and record together. It was while touring with Gillespies Grammy Award-winning United Nation Orchestra in Rome that Sandoval requested political asylum.

Gillespies greatest tribute to Sandoval was also perhaps the most embarrassing for Sandoval. Gillespie often asked Sandoval for trumpet lessons, Sandoval remembered in Down Beat Id say, Oh, Diz, please, and hed say, Come on, man. So I would give him some exercises and advice about embouchure and things, and he would come back and say, You know, man, that worked. Nobody [could] give Dizzy advice about music, but he asked me about technique, because he didnt have any classical training.

According to Kazimierz Czyz in Jazz Forum, Latin American jazz has a decidedly dance character, and some of Sandovals recordings provide an extreme example of this assessment. Czyz further pointed out, The jazz element (architectonics, sound, phrasing) here occurs only as decoration to a well crafted kind of easy listening music. This can perhaps be explained for Sandoval by his early influences and the Cuban governments labeling of jazz as imperialist music.

No Signs

Characteristically, Sandoval revels in the diversity of his music. After moving to Havana as a teen, he was introduced to the playing of Luis Escalante, the first trumpeter in the National Symphony Orchestra. As Sandoval told Down Beat, Escalante played classical, jazz, and Cuban music. I never forgot that, and it has been my goal all my life to play as many things as I can. I dont want any sign on me that says jazz or salsa or blues. Im a musician, man.

Sandoval, by his own admission, is no innovator. Down Beats Larry Birnbaum termed him a mainstream stylist whose forte is a mind-boggling technique that eclipses even Maynard Fergusons for triple-tongued flash and high register razzle-dazzle. Indeed, according to Coto in Down Beat, Sandovals music seems that of an everopen émigré, resurrecting the ghosts of Cubas great trumpeters while embracing U.S. jazz harmonies. And the influence goes both ways. Sandoval has observed that American musicians are learning to discard traditional 12-34 jazz lines and are beginning to play around the clave, Cuban musics rhythmic heartbeat of 12-3,12, sometimes known as the Bo Diddley beat. The trumpeter asserts that the Cuban influence has also been felt in late-twentieth-century pop music, which, with the ever-increasing trend toward world sounds, has appropriated Cuban percussion.

Sandovals own performances, in the opinion of Jazz Forums Czyz, exhibit faultless technique, beautiful, clear trumpet tone, an uncanny precision and good chops. In addition, Down Beats Birnbaum, reviewing a 1983 performance, pointed out the trumpeters machine-gun flurries, squawks, smears, growls and flutters. At the same performance, Birnbaum recounted, Sandoval explained in Spanish that the piano had been his first love and then proceeded to play a long, polished, piano solo. Later, Sandoval played timbales, scat-sang, and twanged the jaw harp, before picking up a shekere, an African calabash rattle, for a percussion interlude that almost stopped the show.

A New Life

Since his defection from Cuba in 1990, Sandoval has lived with his family in Miami, Florida, where he prizes, above all, his creative freedom. He is not altogether dismissive of his old country, noting in Down Beat that there are good, bad, and regular human beings everywhere, in all social classes and all professions. In every country, too. Miami serves as a vital connection for Sandoval to his past, a place where he can be near his culture and food, what Cubans call El Cubaneo. I cant live far from my people, Sandoval explained. I couldnt live in Alaska or Switzerland.

Sandovals desire to keep close ties with his Cuban heritage is reflected in his career moves as well. Though he has played with musicians all over the world, including jazz stars Billy Cobham, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Jon Faddis, and Stan Getz, as well as symphony orchestras and military bands, one of the first things he did after moving to Florida was to form a band. I like to work with the same people and have a repertoire, he told Down Beat I dont like to play with them now and then, inventing things randomly. I like to work with musicians who can create a wide range of sounds and who like to play a lot of different things. Since his arrival in the United States, Sandoval has performed on the soundtrack for Robert Redfords film Havana with fellow exile and former associate, saxophonist Paquito DRivera, and on pop singer Gloria Estefans Into the Light Whether playing with percussionist Tito Puente at the Village Gate in New York City or in the concert halls of Europe, Sandoval has proven himself a foremost a musician of the world.

Selected discography

To a Finland Station, Pablo, 1983.

Tumbaito, Messidor, 1986.

A.S. Plays for the Pandas, 1987.

No Problem, 1987.

Straight Ahead, Jazz House, 1988.

(Contributor) Havana (soundtrack), GRP, 1990.

(With others) Flight to Freedom, GRP, 1991.

(Contributor) Gloria Estefan, Into the Light, Epic, 1991.

(With others)/ Remember Clifford, GRP, 1992.

Dream Come True, GRP, 1993.

Arturo Sandoval Plays Trumpet Concertos, GRP, 1994.

(With others) Danzdn, GRP, 1994.

The Latin Train, GRP, 1995.

Breaking the Sound Barrier, Chicago Caribbean Arts.

Just Music, Jazz House.

Live at the Royal Festival Hall, Enja.

Reunion, Messidor.

Sources

Billboard, March 19, 1994; June 10, 1995.

Brass Bulletin, number 65, 1989; number 71, 1990.

Crescendo International, August 1989.

Down Beat, November 1983; July 1991; June 1992; June 1993; June 1995.

Jazz, May 1984; December 1985.

Jazz Forum, number 92, 1985.

Jazz Journal International, February 1990.

Jazz Podium, November 1990.

Jazz Times, December 1983.

Metro Times (Detroit), August 1, 1993.

John Morrow

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Sandoval, Arturo

Arturo Sandoval

Trumpeter, flugelhornist

The 1994 release Arturo Sandoval Plays Trumpet Concertos may have marked contemporary jazz label GRP's first foray into classical music. For trumpeter Arturo Sandoval it was a revisiting of the repertoire he had studied as a youth in Cuba. In an article in Billboard Sandoval commented, "I never had a chance to perform with the symphony orchestra because it was always busy playing with Russian violinists and pianists. So I had to wait until I was free to be able to do it."

Born in 1949 in Artemis, a small village in the province of Havana, Cuba, Sandoval started playing at age 13 in the village band, where he learned the basics of music theory and percussion. After playing many instruments, he settled on the trumpet and the flugelhorn. With both, he would eventually dazzle listeners throughout the world.

As a child Sandoval had little exposure to jazz. In a 1993 interview with Down Beat he commented, "The only thing I used to hear was traditional Cuban music, what we call son, which was played by a septet with a trumpet and bongos." But one day a trumpeter in Artemis played Sandoval a Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker record from 1946. Sandoval recalled that upon hearing the album he exclaimed, "‘Oh, man! This is so weird. I don't understand nothing about what they're trying to play.’ But that changed my mind completely. And I'm still trying to find out what they were doing." In 1964 Sandoval entered the Cuban National School of Arts, where he studied classical trumpet for three years.

Drafted into the military in 1971, Sandoval was able to play with the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna. After his discharge, he continued playing in the well-known group Irakere, which he co-founded in 1973 with fellow Cuban greats Paquito D'ivera and Chucho Valdes. The group would continue to play for many years in Havana under Valdes's leadership. Irakere toured North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and Sandoval appeared at festivals in Berlin, Germany; Newport, Rhode Island; Montreux, Switzerland; and Warsaw, Poland, throughout the 1970s. In 1981 Sandoval started his own orchestra and continued touring worldwide.

Sandoval's talent has led him to associations with many great musicians, but perhaps the most important one was with the great bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, a longtime proponent of Afro-Cuban music, whom Sandoval called his "spiritual father," according to Juan Carlos Coto in Down Beat. The two musicians met in Cuba in 1977 when Gillespie was playing impromptu gigs throughout the Caribbean with saxophonist Stan Getz.

According to Coto, Gillespie wanted to visit the black neighborhoods in Cuba where musicians play guaguanco and rumba in the streets. Sandoval offered to take Gillespie around in his car, and only later that night, when he took the stage with Gillespie, did Sandoval reveal himself as a musician. Their friendship remained strong as they continued to play and record together. It was while touring with Gillespie's Grammy Award-winning United Nations Orchestra in Rome that Sandoval requested political asylum.

Gillespie's greatest tribute to Sandoval was also perhaps the most embarrassing for Sandoval. Gillespie often asked Sandoval for trumpet lessons, Sandoval recalled in Down Beat. "I'd say, ‘Oh, Diz, please,’ and he'd say, ‘Come on, man.’ So I would give him some exercises and advice about embouchure and things, and he would come back and say, ‘You know, man, that worked.’ Nobody [could] give Dizzy advice about music, but he asked me about technique, because he didn't have any classical training."

After moving to Havana as a teen, Sandoval was introduced to the playing of Luis Escalante, the first trumpeter in the National Symphony Orchestra. As Sandoval told Down Beat, Escalante played classical, jazz, and Cuban music. "I never forgot that, and it has been my goal all my life to play as many things as I can. I don't want any sign on me that says ‘jazz’ or ‘salsa’ or ‘blues.’ I'm a musician, man."

Sandoval's performances, according to Czyz, exhibited "faultless technique, beautiful, clear trumpet tone, an uncanny precision and good chops." In addition, Down Beat, reviewing a 1983 performance, pointed out the trumpeter's "machine-gun flurries, squawks, smears, growls and flutters." At the same performance, according to Down Beat, Sandoval explained in Spanish that the piano had been his first love, and then proceeded to play a long, polished piano solo. Later, he played timbales, scat-sang, and twanged the jaw harp, before picking up a shekere, an African calabash rattle, for a percussion interlude that almost stopped the show.

Remained Tied to Cuban Roots Despite Defection

Since his defection from Cuba in 1990, Sandoval has lived with his family in Miami, Florida, where he prizes, above all, his creative freedom. Miami has served as a vital connection for Sandoval to his past, a place where he can be near his culture and food, what Cubans call El Cubaneo. Sandoval was granted U.S. citizenship in November of 1998, after a three-year struggle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Sandoval's desire to keep close ties with his Cuban heritage is reflected in his career moves. Although he has played with musicians all over the world, including jazz stars Billy Cobham, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Jon Faddis, and Stan Getz, as well as symphony orchestras and military bands, one of the first things he did after moving to Florida was to form a band. "I like to work with the same people and have a repertoire," he told Down Beat. "I don't like to play with them now and then, inventing things randomly. I like to work with musicians who can create a wide range of sounds and who like to play a lot of different things." After his arrival in the United States, Sandoval performed on the soundtrack for Robert Redford's film Havana with his fellow exile and former associate, saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, and on pop singer Gloria Estefan's Into the Light. Whether playing with percussionist Tito Puente at the Village Gate in New York City or in the concert halls of Europe, Sandoval has proven himself first and foremost as a musician of the world.

For the Record …

Born November 6, 1949, in Artemis, Cuba; defected from Cuba, 1990; father an auto mechanic; married; wife's name, Marianela; child: Arturin. Education: Studied classical trumpet at Cuban National School of Arts, 1964.

Jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist; while in Cuban military, member of Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna; cofounded band Irakere with Paquito D'Rivera and Churcho Valdes, 1973; recorded and toured with Dizzy Gillespie; started own orchestra, 1981.

Awards: Elected to Cuba's National Hit Parade as best instrumentalist, 1982-84; named by Cuban Ministry of Culture to highest professional school; Grammy Awards for best Latin jazz performance, for Danzon, 1995, and Hot House, 1998; Emmy Award, outstanding music composition for a miniseries, movie, or special, for the soundtrack to the HBO movie of his life, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, 2001.

Addresses: Management—Melody Lisman, Turi's Music Enterprises Inc., 6701 Collins Ave., Regency #1, Miami Beach, FL 33141, phone: 305-866-6511, fax: 305-866-6516. Record company—Telarc International, 23307 Commerce Park Rd., Cleveland, OH 44122. Website—Arturo Sandoval Official Website: www.arturosandoval.com. E-mail: arthorn@bellsouth.net.

In 2005 Sandoval released the concert album Live at the Blue Note, which earned him the Billboard Latin music award for Latin jazz album of the year. The award seemed to reinvigorate Sandoval's career, as he followed the release of the Blue Note album with the 2007 release Rumba Palace. The latter album is of note for containing nine self-composed tracks and a cover of "Guarachando" by Felipe Lamoglia, who also arranged and co-produced the album. The lyrics for "El Huracan Del Caribe" were written by Sandoval as well. The album's title is the name of one of two nightclubs owned and operated by Sandoval in southern Florida. In an interview conducted while he was touring to support the album, he discussed his pleasure at how the album sounded, reiterated his passion for the jazz that he discovered through Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and praised the creative freedom he had experienced in the United States. "I'm so glad to be in the United States," he said. "When I come home from a tour, I kiss the ground here as soon as I get off the plane. … We have all the freedom in the world to do what we want to do."

Selected discography

To a Finland Station, Pablo, 1983.

Breaking the Sound Barrier, Chicago Caribbean Arts, 1983.

Tumbaito, Messidor, 1986.

A.S. Plays for the Pandas, 1987.

No Problem, 1987.

Straight Ahead, Jazz House, 1988.

(Contributor) Havana (soundtrack), GRP, 1990.

(With others) Flight to Freedom, GRP, 1991.

(Contributor) Gloria Estefan, Into the Light, Epic, 1991.

(With others) I Remember Clifford, GRP, 1992.

Dream Come True, GRP, 1993.

Arturo Sandoval Plays Trumpet Concertos, GRP, 1994.

(With others) Danzon, GRP, 1994.

The Latin Train, GRP, 1995.

Swingin, GRP, 1996.

Just Music, Jazz House, 1996.

The Best of Arturo Sandoval, Milan/Latino, 1997.

Hot House, N2K Music, 1998.

Americana, N2K Music, 1999.

Ronnie Scott's Jazz House, DCC Jazz, 2000.

L.A. Meetings, Cubop, 2001.

My Passion for the Piano, Columbia, 2002.

Trumpet Evolution, Crescent Moon, 2003.

From Havana, With Love, West Wind, 2003.

Live at the Blue Note, Messidor, 2005.

Rumba Palace, Telarc, 2007.

Arturo Sandoval and the Latin Jazz Orchestra, Malanga Music, 2007.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, March 19, 1994; June 10, 1995; November 28, 1998.

Brass Bulletin, number 65, 1989; number 71, 1990.

Crescendo International, August 1989.

Down Beat, November 1983; July 1991; June 1992; June 1993; June 1995.

Jazz, May 1984; December 1985.

Jazz Forum, number 92, 1985.

Jazz Journal International, February 1990.

Jazz Podium, November 1990.

Jazz Times, December 1983.

Metro Times (Detroit, MI), August 1, 1993.

Online

All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (November 8, 2007).

Arturo Sandoval Official Website,http://www.arturosandoval.com (February 26, 2002).

Grammy Awards, http://www.grammy.com (Febraury 26, 2002).

VH1.com, artists.vh1.com/vh1/artists (Febraury 26, 2002).

Additional information for this profile was obtained in a telephone interview with Arturo Sandoval in June of 2007.

—John Morrow and Bruce Edward Walker

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Sandoval, Arturo: 1949—: Jazz Trumpeter

Arturo Sandoval: 1949: Jazz trumpeter




Described respectively by reviewers in Billboard as "pushing the limits of his instrument," in The All Music Guide as "technically flawless," and in the Baltimore Sun as "a powerhouse," jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval ranked among Cuba's most exciting musical exports of the late twentieth century. As founder and member of the Cuban supergroup Irakere, Sandoval attracted international attention in the 1970s and 1980s in spite of the limitations on contact with the outside world put in place by Cuba's Communist dictatorship. Since coming to the United States in 1989, Sandoval has been a fixture of the Latin jazz circuit and has broadened his musical reach into new areas.

Sandoval was born on November 6, 1949, in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in the nearby small town of Artemisa. The son of an auto mechanic, he was, as he told London's Financial Times, "a musician in a non-musical family." He dropped out of school at age twelve, taught himself to play the trumpet, and joined a local ensemble, playing the traditional Cuban music called son, the Afro-Cuban hybrid that underlies many contemporary Latin styles. When he was lucky enough to be able to lay hands on a piano, a rarity in desperately poor rural Cuba, he worked on that instrument as well.

Studied Classical Trumpet


Sandoval worked hard and persevered through the musical-instrument shortage and the general hardship that arose with U.S. attempts to destabilize Fidel Castro's Communist government through covert military action and an ongoing trade embargo. When he was fifteen he won a scholarship to study at the National School for the Arts in Havana. The curriculum there consisted of classical music, however, with all other genres off limits; Sandoval's teacher was a Russian orchestral trumpeter. After three years of classical study Sandoval felt himself at a disadvantage when he joined a large Havana jazz band with a six-piece trumpet section.

His conservatory stint paid big dividends in terms of sheer technique. When the great U.S. jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie visited Cuba and became friends with Sandoval in 1977, the Cuban trumpeter, who idolized Gillespie's playing, was amazed when the aging Gillespie asked him for technical instruction. Founding the band Irakere with saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera and pianist Chucho Valdes in 1973, Sandoval became known for his sheer, unequaled virtuosity. His agile navigation through the trumpet's difficult upper register is legendary.

At a Glance . . .


Born November 6, 1949, in Havana, Cuba; father was an auto mechanic; married Marianela, 1975; children: Arturo, Jr. Education: Studied classical trumpet at Cuban National School of the Arts. Military: Served in Cuban military.


Career: Played in Cuban nightclub ensembles and in Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, 1960s; co-founded band Irakere with Paquito D'Rivera and Chucho Valdes, 1973; formed own band, 1981; extensive recording career, 1980s and 1990s; defected to the U.S. while on European tour, 1990; Florida International University, appointed professor; became U.S. citizen, 1998; composed score for HBO film of his own life, For Love or Country, 2000.


Awards: Grammy awards for Best Latin Jazz Performance, 1995 and 1998; Emmy award for soundtrack to For Love or Country, 2001.


Addresses: Home Miami, FL; Label GRP Records, 555 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; Agent Carolyn McNair Public Relations, 410 W. 53rd St., No. 128C, New York, NY 10019.




Nevertheless, the major influence on Sandoval's playing was not classical music but the progressive jazz movement of the 1940s and 1950s known as bebop. As a teenager Sandoval heard the classic bebop recordings of Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker. "That really hooked me up," he told the Baltimore Sun. "I said, 'Wow, this is what I would love to learn.' And I'm still tryin'". Irakere's music evolved into a fiery blend of Cuban rhythms and fabulously accomplished bebop solos, Sandoval's first and foremost.


Stayed in Cuba for Family's Sake


Hungering for interaction with other musicians, Sandoval was occasionally allowed to travel abroad. Irakere performed at New York's Carnegie Hall in the late 1970s, and a recording of the concert brought Sandoval the first of his four Grammy awards. Yet Sandoval began to chafe at the musical restrictions of life under Communism. He thought of seeking asylum on foreign trips during this period but held back because of his wife Marianelawhom he had married in 1975 and who was still devoted to the ideals of Cuban Communismand because of his young son, Arturo Jr.

But Sandoval grew disenchanted with the way the Cuban government used Irakere as an advertisement for its own image, and he left the band in 1981, after D'Rivera left for the United States. He formed a band of its own; despite government disapproval he was voted Cuba's instrumentalist of the year for three years running in the early 1980s. Recording prolifically, Sandoval impressed U.S. reviewers who had been alerted to his music by Gillespie's advocacy. Scott Yanow of the All Music Guide opined that Sandoval was in "near-miraculous form" on the 1988 release Straight Ahead. "Just listen to him tear through 'Blue Monk,' playing in the low register with the speed of an Al Hirt before jumping into the stratosphere like Maynard Ferguson," Yanow wrote.

In 1990 Sandoval joined Gillespie and other musicians on a European tour. Before he left Cuba he joined the Communist Party so that he could improve his chances of bringing his family along. The government agreed, and when the tour reached Rome, Sandoval headed for the U.S. embassy. With Gillespie along for supportGillespie is reported to have placed a phone call to Vice President Dan Quayle at one critical juncturehe requested and was granted political asylum. Sandoval took up residence in Miami, where he has lived ever since.


Broadened Musical Horizons


Taking a teaching job at Florida International University, Sandoval plunged into the U.S. music scene; a Baltimore Sun critic quipped that he seemed to be on the road "about 400 days a year." He reveled in the musical freedom that life in the United States offered, recording, in addition to straight-ahead Latin jazz, an album of classical trumpet concertos (one of them of his own composition) in 1994. A Sandoval concert became a thrilling all-around musical experience, with Sandoval switching at will from trumpet to piano, percussion, and even vocals on occasion. "I don't want people necessarily relating me to a Latino thing," Sandoval was quoted as saying in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "My goal in life is to be a musician. I love music, period. For me, the music is only one: A good one."

After living in Miami for six years, Sandoval applied for U.S. citizenship. At first he was turned down, with officials citing the same Communist Party membership that had helped him escape from Cuba in the first place; his application may have been stalled by Cuban-exile immigration officials in Miami who were suspicious of his recent association with the Castro government. For the next three years Sandoval endured what he described to the Financial Times as a "degrading experience," as he went through six rounds of questioning. In 1998 Sandoval finally became a U.S. citizen; some observers believed that the administration of jazz-loving president Bill Clinton had helped to grease the wheels.

In 2000 HBO released a film about Sandoval's life and he was the film's composer. That film, For Love or Country, featured actor Andy Garcia, whose own family had fled Cuba in the 1960s, as Sandoval. By the first years of the 21st century, Sandoval was something of a living legend. "The trumpet is special," he told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "You can whisper, you can scream. The trumpet has no limits." Sandoval's still-growing legion of fans would agree that in his hands, the instrument's possibilities indeed seemed limitless.


Selected discography

To a Finland Station, Pablo, 1983.

Breaking the Sound Barrier, Chicago Caribbean Arts, 1983.

Tumbaito, Messidor, 1986.

Straight Ahead, Jazz House, 1988.

Flight to Freedom, GRP, 1991.

Dreams Come True, GRP, 1993.

Arturo Sandoval Plays Trumpet Concertos, GRP, 1994.

Danzón, GRP, 1994.

Tren Latino, GRP, 1995.

Swingin', GRP, 1996.

The Best of Arturo Sandoval, Milan/Latino, 1997.

Hot House, N-Coded Music, 1998.

Americana, N-Coded Music, 1999.

L.A. Meetings, Cubop, 2001.

My Passion for the Piano, Columbia, 2002.


Sources

Books


Contemporary Musicians, volume 15, Gale, 1995.


Periodicals


Baltimore Sun, July 12, 2001, p. E1.

Billboard, March 19, 1994, p. 12; November 28, 1998, p. 47.

Down Beat, June 1994, p. 41.

Electronic Media, January 1, 2001, p. 39.

Financial Times (London, England), March 10, 2001, p. Off Centre-9.

San Diego Union-Tribune, December 6, 2001, p. Night & Day-18.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), May 24, 2002, p. Lagniappe-25.


On-line


All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com


James M. Manheim

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