(6 November) -- Born in Artemisa, a small town on the outskirts
of Havana, Cuba.
1961 -- Began
studying classical trumpet.
1962 -- Started playing music in a village band, where
he learned the basic of music theory and percussion. Finally
settles on trumpet after playing many instruments
-- Began three years of serious classical trumpet studies at the
Cuban National School of Arts.
1965 -- Earned a place in the country's all-star
national band. By this time, he was totally immersed in Jazz
with Dizzy Gillespie his idol.
1971 -- Drafted into the military. Play with the
Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna and continues his daily
practice regimen. After
his discharge, he co-founded Irakere, which became Cuba’s most
important Jazz ensemble, with saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and
pianist Chucho Valdes. Irakere,
only permitted to play music approved by the government, since
Fidel Castro views American jazz as the “music of the
his fervent opposition to the revolution, agrees to “toe the
party line” in order to gain permission to travel outside the
island in state-sanctioned bands.
1977 -- Meets in Cuba Dizzy Gillespie, a
longtime proponent of Afro-Cuban music, whom Sandoval calls his
spiritual father. . "I went to the boat to find him. I've
never had a complex about meeting famous people. If I respect
somebody, I go there and try to meet them." Dizzy wanted to
visit the black neighborhoods where musicians play guaguanco and
rumba in the street. Sandoval offered to take Gillespie around
in his car, and only later that night when he took the stage
with Gillespie did Sandoval reveal himself as a musician.
1978 -- Irakere
becomes a worldwide sensation. Its appearance at the Newport
Jazz Festival in New York introduces them to American audiences
and results in a recording contract with Columbia Records.
1981 -- Leaves Irakere in
search of new musical possibilities and forms his own band, which garnered
enthusiastic praise from critics and audiences all over Europe
and Latin America. Continued to tour worldwide with his
group, playing a unique blend of Latin music and Jazz, and also
as a classical trumpeter, performing with the BBC Symphony in
London and the Leningrad Symphony in the former Soviet Union.
1982-1984 -- Voted Cuba's Best
(July) -- Granted political asylum while touring with
Gillespie's Grammy Award-winning United Nation Orchestra in Rome. Made new home in Miami, Florida with wife and teenage son.
Became a full
professor of Trumpet and Artist in Residence within the
School of Music at Florida International University.
and soon records his American debut
Flight To Freedom on
GRP. Arturo has
lectured at the Conservatoire de Paris, the Tchaikovsky
Conservatory in the Soviet Union, the University of California
in Santa Barbara, the University of Miami, the University of
Wisconsin, Purdue University and at many other institutions.
1991 -- Editions
Birn Publishing, in Switzerland, releases Brass Concepts,
a method book with original exercises by Sandoval, a
-- Dizzy Gillespie dies. Sandoval,
a featured artist on Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra Grammy
Award winning album, Live at Royal Festival Hall. Records
his second GRP album, “I Remember Clifford," his tribute
to trumpet legend Clifford Brown.
1995 -- Wins a Grammy for his recording
Leonard Publishing releases three more books with recorded CD's
that include Arban as well as more original exercises by
-- HBO released the long awaited
For Love or Country: The
Arturo Sandoval Story. This movie was received with rave
reviews around the world, has garnered many nominations and has
received several prominent awards. It recounts the struggles and
hardships of being a musician in Cuba, his historic meeting with
the legendary Dizzy Gillespie and the love story between he and
his current wife, and his eventual defection to the United
Passion for the Piano (Crescent Moon
* * *
update 3 July 2008