Arturo Sandoval – Hot House
Arturo Sandoval has evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugel horn, as well as a renowned classical artist and music educator. Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, on November 6, 1949, just two years after Dizzy Gillespie became the first musician to bring Latin influences into American jazz. Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He met Dizzy Gillespie on the great trumpeter’s first trip to Cuba in 1977, and the two forged a close bond, recording and touring together until Dizzy’s death in 1993.
Sandoval was a founding member of the seminal group Irakere, whose explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock and traditional Cuban music caused a sensation throughout the entertainment world. They were the first Cuban act to sign to a major American record label (Columbia). In 1981, Sandoval left Irakere to form his own band, which garnered enthusiastic praise from critics and audiences all over Europe and Latin America. As a solo artist, Sandoval was voted “Cuba’s Best Instrumentalist from 1982 to 1990” by the readers of Opina magazine.
Before founding Irakere, Sandoval performed with the Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music. He was presented as a guest artist with the BBC Symphony in London and the Leningrad Symphony in Russia. After ale defected from Cuba7 Sandoval increased his classical performances worldwide, appearing with the National Symphony, L.A. Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, London Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony amongst others. His classical artistry has earned him the respect and friendship of Maurice Andre and Adolph Herseth, two of the world’s foremost trumpeters. In fact, Sandoval will perform at Herseth’s 50th anniversary celebration as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on June 7th.
Since being granted political asylum in the United States in 1990, Sandoval has recorded seven albums for GRP, six of which are jazz or latin jazz and one classical, and now Sandoval has signed with N2K Encoded Music.
Flight to Freedom
marked his first recording immediately following his defection. His next release I Remember Clifford, dedicated to the great trumpeter Clifford Brown, maintained a steady spot on the Billboard Charts and received two Grammy nominations. Dream Come True, released in May 1993, satisfied a long-time wish of joining forces with Michel Legrand, in creating a beautiful lush album that releases the souls of these two great musicians.
In May of 1994, GRP announced the simultaneous releases of Danzon and Arturo Sandoval: The Classical Album with the London Symphony Orchestra. The latter was his debut classical recording featuring the Sandoval Trumpet Concerto along with other classical pieces. With Danzon, his celebration of Cuban music, Sandoval conjures the faded joy of the carnival parades of his childhood, plays his respect to the Cuban masters of his instrument and revisits the sound of the great bands, crossing eras and styles. The album zig-zags from hop to fusion and European classical music to Afro-Cuban jazz and film music. The album featured Gloria Estefan, Bill Cosby, Willy Chirino, Danilo Perez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Vikki Carr, and Dave Valentin, and won the first-ever Grammy for
Arturo Sandoval & The Latin Train was the follow-up album Danzon, and as a special tribute to Disney, a CD single of Sandoval’s version of “Colors of the Wind” from the movie Pocahontas was included in the album’s package. In 1996, Sandoval recorded his first straight-ahead release since / Remember Clifford, Swingin’ which focused more on his own compositions as well. The CD also marked his first recorded work as a pianist on “Streets of Desire.”
Sandoval’s first release for N2K Encoded Music, marks his first complete recording with a big band. Hot House contains a panoramic view of Latin jazz, including the tracks “Funky Cha-Cha,” “Mam-Bop,” “Sandunga,” and “Cuban American Medley.” Sandoval’s tribute to the “King of Salsa” “Tito,” features latin vocalist Rey Ruiz and Tito Puente himself on timbales. Puente also arranged Mario Ruiz Armengoias’s “Brassman Holiday” for the recording. Patti Austin makes a special appearance to sing the Spanish/English vocals on Armado (“It’s Impossible”) Manzanero’s bolero “Only You (No Se Tu).” Other guest musicians on include saxophonist Michael Brecker, who solos on “Hot House.”
In addition to his own recordings and performances, Sandoval has made notable appearances with other musicians and on soundtracks. He was a featured artist in the acclaimed Dizzy Gillespie United Nation Orchestra, including the orchestra’s 1992 Grammy Award-winning album, Live at Royal Festival Hall. He has performed with Billy Cobham, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Herbie Hancock, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, Stan Getz, and the Boston Pops. He has also performed twice at the Oscars, and in the Super Bowl with Tony Bennet and Patti LaBelle. His soundtrack work includes Dave Grusin’s Havana, The Perez Family, and his Grammy-nominated composition “Mambo Caliente” was on the Mambo Kings soundtrack. He was also commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballet of “Pepito’s Story.” His diverse style and versatility can be heard on albums by: Dave Grusin Presents West Side Story and T.S. Monk’s Monk on Monk, as well as albums by Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka, among others.
Sandoval has also made an active commitment to music education. Currently, he serves with a full professorship at Florida International University, and maintains one of the most extensive educational programs in the industry with approximately fifty performances and lectures per year in universities and colleges including UC Davis, UCLA, USC, Univ. of Miami, UC Santa Barbara, etc., and has rendered a considerable amount of time working with the NARAS educational program “Grammy in the Schools.” He has also lectured internationally and has performed at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the Soviet Union. There are three scholarships associated with Sandoval, the “Arturo Sandoval’s Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet Scholar Award” at the Univ. Of Idaho, the “Sandoval Trumpet Scholarship” at the Central Oklahoma University and the Sandoval Trumpet Scholarship at FIU. In 1991 Editions Bim Publishing (Switzerland) released Brass Concepts, a method book with original exercises by Sandoval, and in 1995 Hal Leonard Publishing released three more Sandoval exercise books with recorded CDs.
Sandoval and his family reside in Miami, Florida, and his permanent U.S. citizenship is now under consideration by the INS. A petition on the website Jazz Central Station garnered over 800 names in support of Sandoval becoming a U.S. citizen, along with the support of 17 Congress members.
For more information about Arturo Sandoval, see his website.