Arturo Sandoval is fluent in at least four musical languages. He can burn through an Afro-Cuban groove, tear up a bebop tune, soar over a Mozart concerto, and sooth you with a luscious ballad—with equal power and grace.
Granted political asylum in July 1990 and U.S. citizenship in 1999, Sandoval and his family now call Miami, Florida home. A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, 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 flugel horn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist, and composer.
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. Sandoval was voted Cuba's Best Instrumentalist from 1982 to 1990.
Sandoval has been awarded four Grammy Awards, 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 starring Andy Garcia. He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has recently been seen by millions in the Grammy Awards performing with pop-phenomenon Justin Timberlake as well as on the Latin Billboard Awards with the gifted Alicia Keys, where he was awarded his sixth Billboard Awards for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Not only is Sandoval a tenured professor at Florida International University, but he works nationally and abroad with innumerable institutions and their music departments offering several scholarships, exercise books, clinics and seminars, and has rendered a considerable amount of time working with the NARAS educational program. Furthermore, Hal Leonard Publishing has not only released additional educations books with recorded CDs that include original exercises by Sandoval, but has also published various big band, combo, and marching band charts from his award-winning albums. Sandoval maintains one of the most extensive educational programs in the industry.
Sandoval is also a renowned classical musician, performing regularly with the leading symphony orchestras from around the world. Arturo has composed his own "Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra," which can be heard on Arturo Sandoval: The Classical Album. He has been chosen to perform with the foremost orchestras on primetime television, and was asked by John Williams to record on Williams' original 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.
Sandoval's versatility can be heard on recordings with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, and Stan Getz to Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart, and Alicia Keys. He has performed with Celine Dion at the Oscars, John Williams with the Boston Pops, and in the Super Bowl with Tony Bennett, and Patti LaBelle. His playing can also be heard on Dave Grusin's soundtrack for Havana, in the Mambo Kings soundtrack with his Grammy-nominated composition "Mambo Caliente," in the soundtrack of The Perez Family, was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballet of Pepito's Story choreographed by Debbie Allen, and was awarded an Emmy for his composing work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life, For Love or Country, starring Andy Garcia.
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 he 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, knows that Sandoval is a prominent musician, and one recognizes that he is one of the most brilliant and proliferous musicians of our time.