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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, all with equal power and grace.
Granted political asylum in July 1990 and U.S. citizenship in 1999, Sandoval and his family now call Miami 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. He 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 flugel horn, as well as a renowned classical artist. Sandoval was a founding member of the Grammy-winning group Irakere, whose explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock, and traditional Cuban music caused a sensation throughout the entertainment world.
Sandoval has been awarded four Grammys, six Billboard Awards, and an Emmy, 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 Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Not only is Sandoval a tenured professor at Florida International University, he works nationally and abroad with innumerable institutions and their music departments offering several scholarships, exercise books, clinics, and seminars. He is also a renowned classical musician, performing regularly with the leading symphony orchestras from around the world. 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. He made his Hollywood Bowl debut in 1993.
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, among many others. 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. 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 he does.