Residency with nine-time Grammy winner will engage students, community

One of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, Arturo Sandoval’s talent runs vast and deep. A protege of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, he has been seen by millions at the Oscars performing with Celine Dion, at the Grammy Awards with Justin Timberlake and in his own right as a leader. He also performed at the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys.

Sandoval has been awarded nine Grammy Awards, and nominated 17 times. He has also received six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award.

Sandoval brings his legendary talent to the SUNY Fredonia School of Music for three days of activities this fall. The main event is his performance on Monday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall. Sandoval will be performing an eclectic program of Latin jazz with a small combo of professional musicians hand-picked from the faculty and greater-Buffalo area: SUNY Fredonia faculty Bruce Johnstone (sax) and John Bacon (drums), special guests Bobby Jones (keyboard), Jeff Campbell (bass) and Wendell Rivera (percussion). The evening will include an appearance by the Fredonia Latin Jazz Ensemble under the direction of John Bacon. Tickets are $30 for the general public and $12 for students with ID and include reserved seating and a post-concert reception with the artists. Tickets are available at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office (Williams Center), or by phone (716) 673-3501 or online: The residency with Arturo Sandoval has been made possible thanks to a generous gift from Hodgson Russ, LLP.

When asked about the significance of this residency, Dr. Karl Boelter, director of the School of Music, said, “Our interest in the music of many cultures makes the School of Music want to explore and to stretch, and to make sure our students do too. All music is vital, and Arturo Sandoval makes this crystal clear. He can do everything – jazz, Latin, classical and more – and he inspires his audience with a virtuosity and energy that is delightfully contagious.”

Reflecting Sandoval’s commitment to educating and inspiring future generations with his passion for jazz of all styles, he will also give a master class and involve the community during his visit at Fredonia. Three student groups will perform for Sandoval, and he will work with them on aspects of performance, technique, and musicianship. This master class is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. Tickets for the master class are also available at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office. Additional residency activities will be announced in the coming weeks and on the School of Music website.

Dr. Bacon, director of the Fredonia Latin Jazz Ensemble and music coordinator for the Sandoval residency, believes experiences such as these can be life changing for students and professionals alike.

“Whenever I have had the opportunity to play with master musicians, people whose influence in music is wide and undisputed, I have gained deeper insight into what I am trying to do and how to accomplish it. Musicians like Arturo are a beacon for the rest of us to follow. But we have to navigate our own waters and use the inspiration toward our unique goals. This is what I hope the students gain. Inspiration, yes! But, event more, a light on our path to guide us and show the way.”

A protege of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town in the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, on Nov. 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, and continues to do so.

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 worldwide.

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 Bennett and Patti LaBelle.

His 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,” the documentary “Oscar,” and “The Family Fuentes” among of others. He also was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballet “Pepito’s Story,” “Soul Possessed,” as well as “Oman O Men,” and “The Chocolate Hot 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.

Further details about these events and a complete listing of events are available at the School of Music website,, or by calling Jennifer Darrell-Sterbak at 673-3686.