A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town in the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, on November 6, 1949, just two years after Gillespie became the first musician to bring Latin influences into American Jazz. Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of 12, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.
He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions at the Oscars®, the Grammy® Awards and the Billboard Awards.
Sandoval has been awarded ten Grammy® Awards, and nominated 19 times; he has also received six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. The latter for his composing work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life, For Love or Country that starred Andy Garcia as Arturo. His two latest Grammy award-winning albums, Dear Diz, Every Day I Think of You and Tango Como Yo Te Siento are now available worldwide. Sandoval’s newest record, Eternamente Manzanero, performs the music of revered Mexican romantic pianist/singer/songwriter, Armando Manzanero. This record is a true labor of love. Performing Senor Manzanero’s music with co-headliner Jorge Calandrelli, the album is a fresh, modern and pleasant take on his beautiful bolero music.
Sandoval has published a new book chronicling his relationship with Dizzy Gillespie entitled The Man Who Changed My Life. He also is the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sandoval was a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group Irakere, whose explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock and traditional Cuban music caused a sensation throughout the entertainment world. In 1981 he left Irakere to form his own band, which garnered enthusiastic praise from critics and audiences all over the world, and continues to do so.
Sandoval is also a renowned classical musician, performing regularly with the leading symphony orchestras from around the world. He has composed his own Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, which can be heard on Arturo Sandoval: The Classical Album. Sandoval has performed with the foremost orchestras in the country as well as abroad and he recorded John Williams’ Trumpet Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra. His classical artistry has earned him respect and admiration from the most prestigious conductors, composers and symphony orchestras worldwide.
Sandoval’s versatility can be heard on recordings with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, Bill Conti, Stan Getz, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart and Alicia Keys, among many others. He has performed with John Williams at the Boston Pops, and in the Super Bowl with Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle.
His compositions can also be heard in movies including 1001 to 1 starring Beau Bridges, At Middleton starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga, Dave Grusin’s soundtracks for Havana and Random Hearts, on the Mambo Kings soundtrack with his Grammy®-nominated composition “Mambo Caliente,” on the soundtracks of The Perez Family, 61, Mr. Wrong, the documentary Oscar and The Family Fuentes, among others. He also was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballets Pepito’s Story, Soul Possessed, as well as Oman O Men and The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, choreographed by Debbie Allen.
Sandoval reaches beyond the scope of mere effort. His struggles while in Cuba and since his defection have given him more energy and strength, urging him to accomplish and surpass his childhood dreams. Filled with a virtuoso capability, he desires nothing more than to share his gift with others who feel the same intense adoration for music as he does. One frequently speaks of Sandoval’s virtuoso technical ability or his specialty in high notes, but anyone who has seen him on the piano, lyrically improvising a ballad, or has had the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of his music, through his compositions from the most straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz or classical, recognizes that Sandoval is one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.