Arturo Sandoval (born November 6, 1949) is a jazz trumpeter and pianist. He was born in Artemisa, in the newest renamed Artemisa Province, Cuba.
Sandoval, while still in Cuba, was influenced by jazz legends Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie, finally meeting Dizzy later in 1977. Gillespie promptly became a mentor and colleague, playing with Arturo in concerts in Europe and Cuba and later featuring him in The United Nations Orchestra. Sandoval defected to the United States of America in Spain, while touring with Gillespie in 1990, and became a naturalized citizen in 1999.
Sandoval's life was the subject of the 2000 TV film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy García. He currently resides in Calabasas, California.
Arturo Sandoval began to play music at age 13 in the village band. After playing many instruments, he fell in love with the trumpet. In 1964, he began three years of serious classical trumpet studies at the Cuban National School of Arts. By the age of 16 he had earned a place in Cuba's all-star national band. By this time, he was totally immersed in jazz, with Dizzy Gillespie as his idol. In 1971 he was drafted into the military. Luckily, Sandoval was still able to play with the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna. Because of this he was able to continue his daily practice regimen.
In Cuba, Sandoval co-founded the band Irakere with Chucho Valdés and Paquito D'Rivera. They quickly became a worldwide sensation. Their appearance at the 1978 Newport Jazz Festival introduced them to American audiences and garnered them a recording contract with Columbia Records.
Sandoval was still exploring his musical possibilities and left the group in 1981 to form his own band. He continued to tour worldwide with his new group, playing a unique blend of jazz and Afro Cuban music. In addition to playing Afro Cuban jazz, he performed classical music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London and the Leningrad Symphony in the former Soviet Union.
He enjoys a successful recording career that extends outside of mainstream jazz. He has recorded as a sideman with Johnny Mathis, Gloria Estefan, Kenny G, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra, and Dave Grusin. He has also played in concerts with Woody Herman, Herbie Hancock, Woody Shaw, Stan Getz, Céline Dion, Tito Puente, and recently with Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake. In January 1995, Sandoval performed at the Super Bowl XXIX halftime show, with Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett and the Miami Sound Machine, in a program entitled "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye", to promote the upcoming Disney theme park attraction. In 1997, he performed with Céline Dion at the 69th Academy Awards performing the song I Finally Found Someone.
In 2001, Arturo was featured on the album "Swingin' For The Fences" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. He played solos in Sing, Sang, Sung and Muevos los Huesos (Move Your Bones), the latter of which let him flex his Afro Cuban jazz muscles.
Arturo was also a judge for the 2nd annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Arturo Sandoval performs during a White House
reception celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in the East Room
on October 12, 2001.
Sandoval's raw talent has led him to associate with many musicians, but the most important is Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy, who was a longtime proponent of Afro-Cuban music, has been referred to as a type of "spiritual father" by Sandoval. When the two great trumpet players met in Cuba in 1977, Dizzy was playing impromptu gigs in the Caribbean with Stan Getz. Sandoval later said, "I went to the boat to find him. I've never had a complex about meeting famous people. If I respect somebody, I go there and try to meet them."
Because of Cuba's political situation, the country had been isolated from American musicians for nearly 20 years when Dizzy visited. Gillespie wanted to hear the music of the black neighborhoods where musicians play guaguanco (a popular style of rumba) in the street. Sandoval offered to take Dizzy around, but only later that evening, when he got up on stage, did Sandoval reveal himself as a musician.
In April 2006, Arturo Sandoval opened a jazz venue in Miami Beach, The Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club. Since opening its doors, the club featured both top-notch headlining jazz acts as well as local talent on stage. Open six nights a week for live music, past acts included Joshua Redman, Roberta Flack, Roy Haynes, Omar Sosa, The Bad Plus, Moe Goldstein, Michael Lington and Danilo Perez. Sandoval himself played at the club at least monthly. It was closed in 2008.
Arturo Sandoval in concert, International Jazz Festival, Prague
, Lucerna Music Hall, 1984
- 1976 - Havana - with David Amram
- 1977 - New York - with David Amram
- 1978 - The Best of Irakere - Irakere
- 1979 - Irakere - Irakere
- 1981 - Turi
- 1982 - To a Finland Station - with Dizzy Gillespie
- 1982 - Arturo Sandoval
- 1983 - Breaking the Sound Barrier
- 1986 - No Problem
- 1986 - Arturo Sandoval EN CONCIERTO VOL.1
- 1986 - Arturo Sandoval EN CONCIERTO VOL.2
- 1987 - Tumbaito
- 1988 - Straight Ahead
- 1989 - Classics
- 1990 - Live at the Royal Festival Hall 1989 - with Dizzy Gillespie
- 1991 - Flight to Freedom
- 1992 - I Remember Clifford
- 1993 - Dreams Come True
- 1993 - Danzón (Dance On)
- 1993 - Passion - with Regina Belle
- 1994 - Cubano
- 1995 - Arturo Sandoval y el Tren Latino
- 1995 - Concerto
- 1995 - Arturo Sandoval & The Latin Train
- 1996 - Double Talk - with Ed Calle
- 1996 - Swingin
- 1997 - Just Music
- 1998 - Hot House
- 1999 - Americana
- 1999 - Sunset Harbor - with Ed Calle
- 1999 - Los Elefantes - Arturo Sandoval & Wynton Marsalis
- 2000 - Ronnie Scott's Jazz House
- 2000 - For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story - Soundtrack
- 2001 - Piedras Y Flores - Amaury Gutiérrez
- 2001 - L.A. Meetings
- 2001 - Swingin' For The Fences - Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
- 2002 - My Passion for the Piano
- 2003 - From Havana With Love
- 2003 - Trumpet Evolution
- 2005 - Live at the Blue Note
- 2005 - Journey to Chateau de la Fuente
- 2007 - Rumba Palace
- 2007 - Arturo Sandoval & the Latin Jazz Orchestra
- 2009 - Featured in "The Last" album with Aventura
- 2010 - A Time for Love