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 twelve, 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 he has been seen by millions at the Oscars, at the Grammy Awards, and the Billboard Awards.
Sandoval has been awarded ten Grammy Awards and has been nominated for nineteen. He has also received six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award, the latter for his composition work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life For Love or Country, starring Andy Garcia as Sandoval. In 2013, he was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sandoval’s two latest Grammy award-winning albums, Dear Diz (Everyday I Think of You) and Tango Como Yo Te Siento are now available worldwide. Sandoval’s newest recording Eternamente Manzanero, on which he performs the music of revered Mexican romantic pianist/singer/songwriter Armando Manzanero is a true labor of love. With co-headliner Jorge Calandrelli, this album is a fresh, modern, and pleasant take on Manzanero’s beautiful bolero music. Recently released is a new book chronicling Sandoval’s relationship with Dizzy Gillespie entitled The Man Who Changed My Life.
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 around the world. He has composed his own Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, which can be heard on Arturo Sandoval: The Classical Album. He also recorded John Williams’s Trumpet Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra. His classical artistry has earned him the respect and admiration from the most prestigious conductors, composers, and symphony orchestras worldwide. His versatility can be heard on recordings with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, Bill Conti, and Stan Getz to Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart, and Alicia Keys, among many others. He has performed with John Williams and the Boston Pops and in the Super Bowl with Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle.
Sandoval’s compositions can be heard in movies including 1001 to 1, At Middleton, Mambo Kings, The Perez Family, 61, Mr. Wrong, Oscar, The Family Fuentes, and Dave Grusin’s soundtracks for Havana and Random Heart. He was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballets Pepito’s Story, Soul Possessed, Oman O Men, and The Chocolate Hot Nutcracker, choreographed by Debbie Allen.
Sandoval’s struggles in Cuba and since his defection have given him 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.