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 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, pianist and composer.
He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions in the Oscars and Grammy Awards performing with Celine Dione, Justin Timberlake as well as on the Latin Billboard Awards with the gifted Alicia Keys, where he was awarded his 6th Billboard Awards for “Best Latin Jazz Album”.
Sandoval has been awarded 6 Grammy Awards, and nominated 10 times, he has also received 6 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.
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. He works nationally and abroad with innumerable Universities and 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. He now also offers a complete Artist-In-Residence program as well. Arturo 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.” Arturo has performed with the foremost orchestras in the country as well as abroad and recorded John Williams’ 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 world-wide.
Arturo 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 amongst many others. He has performed with John Williams with the Boston Pops, and in the Super bowl with Tony Bennet and Patti LaBelle.
His playing and compositions can also be heard on Dave Grusin’s soundtrack for “Havana” and “Random Heart”, in the “Mambo Kings” soundtrack with his Grammy nominated composition “Mambo Caliente”, in the soundtrack of “The Perez Family”, “61”, “Mr. Wrong”,"Rango" ,"I'm in love with the Church Girl" . He also was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballet of “Pepito’s Story”, “Soul Possessed” and “ Oman O Men”,"Hot chocolate Nutcracker", choreographed by Debbie Allen, and, as mentioned above, he 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.
Arturo 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 Arturo 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 Arturo Sandoval is a prominent musician, and one recognizes that Arturo is one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.